U.S.-flag Great Lakes cargo down in June
U.S.-flag members of the Lake Carriers' Association moved 11.3 million tons of cargo on the Great Lakes in June, a nearly 5 percent drop from June 2006 and down 3 percent on the month’s five-year average.
Cleveland-based LCA, which represents 18 American companies operating 63 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes, said the decline was due in part to a labor dispute that idled three mid-sized vessels with a combined per-trip capacity of 66,000 tons, but was also the result of a system-wide lack of dredging and low water levels that force some ships to light load.
In July, the U.S. House of Representatives approved increased funding for the Great Lakes in the fiscal year 2008 energy and water appropriations bill including $126.9 million for dredging to be performed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Through June, U.S.-flag carriage on the Great Lakes was 39.4 million tons, a decrease of 6.4 percent from the same point in 2006, and only 1.5 percent ahead of the five-year average for the first half.