US-flag Lakes cargoes dip 9.5 percent in July

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

(CLEVELAND) — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.85 million tons of cargo in July, a decrease of 9.5 percent compared to a year ago. The July float was also 9 percent below the month’s five-year average.

Iron ore cargoes for the steel industry totaled 4.6 million tons, a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.7 million tons, a decrease of 25 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a decrease of 10 percent compared to a year ago.

Year to date, U.S.-flag carriage stands at 40.4 million tons, a decrease of 5 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargoes are up 4.8 percent, but coal cargos have dipped 27 percent. Limestone shipments trail last year by 4.5 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