American Shipper

U.S.-flag Great Lake vessel cargo volumes on the rise

U.S.-flag Great Lake vessel cargo volumes on the rise

   U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes moved more than 12 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in June, the highest monthly total in nearly two years, according to the Lake Carrier’s Association.

   The June total represents a 12-percent increase compared to the corresponding period in 2003, the association said. Compared against the month’s five-year average, this June is 3.4 percent ahead.

   The association pointed out that the largest increase in U.S.-flag cargo volumes came from iron ore for the steel industry. “Loadings in U.S.-flag lakers totaled 5.4 million tons, an increase of 1 million tons compared to a year ago, but only a slight increase compared to the five-year average,” the LCA said.

   Increased volumes of limestone, fluxstone and aggregate also experience gains in June. Coal shipments, however, were down compared to last year due to reduced shipments to a Canadian utility and decreased availability of rail cars serving Lake Erie loading ports, the LCA said.

   For the year, the association said U.S.-flag carriage stands at 42.2 million tons, an increase of 8.5 million tons compared to the same period in 2003, and 3.8 million tons ahead of the five-year average. “The end-of-June totals for iron ore, coal and limestone are the highest recorded since 2000,” the LCA said.