Year-to-date the iron ore trade on the Great Lakes stands at 3.4 million tons, an increase of 9.5 percent.
Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 975,000 tons in March, a decrease of 39 percent compared to a year ago.
Loadings in March also trailed the month’s five-year average by more than 26 percent.
“The decrease reflects the lack of adequate icebreaking resources on the Great Lakes,” the Lake Carriers’ Association said. “The ice fields in Whitefish Bay at the eastern end of Lake Superior and in the Straits of Mackinac were very thick, but two of the U.S. Coast Guard’s icebreakers have been in need of extensive repairs this spring and the government shutdown did delay some work.”
Year to date, the iron ore trade stands at 3.4 million tons, an increase of 9.5 percent. The Lake Carriers’ Association said ice conditions in January were less challenging.