The following is text of a news release from the Lake Carriers' Association:
(CLEVELAND) — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 3.1 million tons of cargo in January, an increase of 110 percent compared to a year ago. The January float was also 44 percent above the month’s five-year average.
Iron ore shipments totaled 2.5 million tons, an increase of 84 percent. Coal loadings quadrupled to 137,000 tons. The limestone trade totaled 196,000 tons, an increase of 100 percent.
The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 13 American companies that operate 46 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 90 million tons of dry-bulk cargo per year and employ more than 1,600 men and women, all of whom are U.S. citizens or legally admitted aliens, and provide annual wages and benefits of approximately $125 million. In turn, the cargoes its members carry create and sustain nearly 116,000 jobs in the eight Great Lakes states and generate more than $20 billion in economic activity, $8.3 billion in personal income, $16.4 billion in business revenue, $4.1 billion in local purchases and $3.7 billion in taxes. More information is available at www.lcaships.com.