U.S.-flag Great Lakes cargo flat in July
• U.S. ports at “crossroads” without adequate dredging
U.S.-flag vessels operating on the Great Lakes carried 12 million net tons in July, fractionally less than in the same month last year.
The July float also was roughly 170,000 tons above the month's five-year average, according to the Cleveland-based Lake Carriers' Association, which represents 16 American companies operating 63 U.S.-flag vessels.
The LCA said rising water levels again boosted vessels' payloads, but said this year’s dredging crisis has resulted in lost tonnage. For example, the association said a 1,000-foot-long U.S.-flag Laker saw its top cargo climb to 67,474 tons of iron ore in July. However, had the vessel been able to carry this much cargo on each trip this year, its year-to-date total would be 1.42 million tons instead of 1.33 million tons.
For the year, U.S.-flag Great Lakes carriage stands at 51.1 million tons, a slight decrease from both a year ago and the five-year average for the January-July timeframe.