Lakes ore shipments down 19 percent in August

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

(CLEVELAND) — Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5.9 million tons in August, a decrease of 19 percent compared to a year ago. High levels of steel imports continued to depress the trade, but another factor was that three of the largest U.S.-flag lakers were undergoing repairs during the month. These vessels have a combined per-trip capacity of more than 200,000 tons.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5 million tons, a decrease of 26.5 percent compared to a year ago. These were the ports impacted by the three 1,000-footers being out of service for the majority of the month. One of the vessels sailed again on Aug. 28. The other two vessels are expected to return to service by Sept. 20.

Loadings at Canadian ports in the seaway nearly doubled to 921,000 tons.

Through August, the lakes/seaway ore trade stands at 33.5 million tons, a near carbon copy of a year ago, and a slight decrease compared to the long-term average.

The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 16 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 115 million tons of cargo per year. More information is available at

By Professional Mariner Staff