Lakers say they are hampered by shallow water
The U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet moved 11.9 million tons of dry bulk cargo in May, a 2 percent decrease compared to a year ago.
The Lake Carriers’ Association said demand for iron ore is very strong and total iron ore carried was up 8 percent.
But the group said “the largest vessels in that trade were still losing 6,000 tons or more each trip because of the dredging crisis,” explaining that ships are unable to load to capacity because harbors have not been adequately deepened.
“The 1,000-foot-long vessels designed to carry approximately 70,000 tons per trip generally left the dock with less than 64,000 tons of iron ore in their holds. Only two coal cargoes topped 65,000 tons,” the group noted.
“A cement carrier had to shed 2,300 tons or more each trip because of inadequate dredging. That’s 13 percent of the vessel’s capacity,” the association added.