U.S. lakers see traffic plunge 40% in August
The Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) said the season-long slump in U.S.-flag shipping on the Great Lakes continued in August.
Major U.S.-flag carriers hauled only 7.2 million tons of dry bulk cargo, a decrease of more than 40 percent compared to both a year ago and the month's five-year average, LCA said.
Although the nation's steel mills are reporting small increases in production, the August iron ore total was one of the lowest recorded this season: 2 million tons, less than the 5.1 million tons in the same 2008 period.
The coal trade was also lackluster in August.
“The peak of summer normally has the region's utilities taking every ton they can get, but shipments in U.S.-flag lakers totaled 2.4 million tons, a decrease of 17.2 percent compared to the prior year,” LCA said.
Limestone traffic was 2.2 million tons, 38 percent below last year’s pace. LCA said demand is so low that four vessels that depend on the stone trade were out of service for lengthy periods of time in August.