US-flag cargoes on Great Lakes up 3 percent in 2017

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

(CLEVELAND) — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 85.7 million tons of cargo in 2017, an increase of 3 percent over 2016. The 2017 float was, however, 2.4 percent behind the fleet’s long-term average.

Iron ore cargoes for steelmaking totaled 46 million tons, an increase of 4.3 percent compared to 2016.

Coal loadings increased 2.8 percent to 13.3 million tons.

Limestone cargoes increased 1.7 percent to 21.55 million tons.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 13 American companies that operate 45 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 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