Shipping steady in June on US-flag lakers

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

(CLEVELAND) — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.7 million tons of cargo on the Great Lakes in June, a virtual repeat of a year ago. However, this June’s shipments were down 3.6 percent from the month’s long-term average.

Iron ore cargoes for steelmaking totaled 4.9 million tons, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to a year ago.

Coal loadings rose 8.1 percent to 1.6 million tons. The increase was almost entirely due to higher shipments of low-sulfur coal from Superior, Wis.

Limestone cargoes hauled in U.S. bottoms totaled 2.6 million tons, a decrease of 10.6 percent compared to a year ago.

Year over year, U.S.-flag cargoes total 30.6 million tons, again a virtual tie with the same point in 2016. Iron ore shipments have increased 5.7 percent to 17.9 million tons. Coal cargoes have risen 3.2 percent to 4.5 million tons. However, shipments of aggregate, fluxstone and scrubber stone — 6.5 million tons — have dipped more than 13 percent.

The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 13 American companies that operate 49 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