Great Lakes iron ore trade dips 15 percent in July

The following is the text of a news release from the Lake Carriers' Association:

(CLEVELAND) — Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5.6 million tons in July, a decrease of 15 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments also trailed the month’s five-year average by more than 18 percent.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 4.95 million tons in July, a decrease of nearly 14 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian terminals dipped even more — 23 percent — to 643,000 tons.

Year to date, the iron ore trade stands at 26.8 million tons, a decrease of 3 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Year over year, loadings at U.S. ports are down by 113,000 tons, but shipments from Canadian ports in the St. Lawrence Seaway have slipped even more, 21 percent, or 743,000 tons.

The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 14 American companies that operate 56 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, as well as salt, sand and grain.  Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 100 million tons of cargo per year. More information is available at

By Professional Mariner Staff