U.S.-flag Great Lakes cargo down 12.5 percent in May

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

(CLEVELAND) — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.5 million tons of cargo in May, a decrease of 12.5 percent compared to a year ago. The May float was also 5 percent below the month’s five-year average.

Iron ore cargoes for the steel industry totaled 4.7 million tons, a decrease of 12.4 percent compared to a year. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.4 million tons, a decrease of nearly 28 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago.

Year to date, U.S.-flag carriage stands at 20.9 million tons, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargoes are up 7 percent, but coal cargoes have dipped 28 percent. Limestone shipments are essentially on pace with a year ago.

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 www.lcaships.com.

By Professional Mariner Staff