Great Lakes cargo on U.S.-flag boats surges from 2009 levels

The following is the text of a press release issued by the Lake Carriers’ Association:
(CLEVELAND) — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 9,856,919 net tons of cargo in May, an increase of 29 percent compared to April, and an increase of 39 percent compared to a year ago.
This May’s total was, however, down nearly 11 percent from the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos in May increased 113 percent compared to a year ago. Coal loadings were down 6.2 percent. Limestone cargos increased 20.5 percent.

Year-to-date U.S.-flag cargos stand at 22,530,791 net tons, an increase of 64.7 percent compared to a year ago, but slightly behind the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe. Iron ore cargos are up 156 percent. Coal is essentially tied with a year ago. Limestone cargos are up 30.7 percent.
Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American companies that operate 55 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes and carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, aggregate and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation…. Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo a year when high water offsets lack of adequate dredging. More information is available at
Source: Lake Carriers’ Association.
By Professional Mariner Staff