US-flag laker cargoes down 9.2 percent in October

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

(CLEVELAND) — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 8.8 million tons of cargo in October, a decrease of 9.2 percent compared to a year ago and 10.2 percent below the month’s five-year average. October was also the sixth consecutive month in which cargoes trailed the previous year.

Iron ore cargoes for the steel industry totaled 4.4 million tons in October, an increase of 5.3 percent compared to a year ago. However, coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.3 million tons, a decrease of 43 percent. Limestone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.6 million tons, a decrease of 6.7 percent compared to a year ago.

Year over year, U.S.-flag carriage stands at 67.8 million tons, a decrease of 5.7 percent. Iron ore cargoes are up 4.1 percent, but coal loads have dipped 26.4 percent. Limestone shipments trail last year by 6.7 percent.

The 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

By Professional Mariner Staff