U.S.-flag cargo on lakes down 14 percent in April

Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Source: American Shipper

 U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 6.1 million tons of cargo in April, a decrease of 14 percent compared to a year ago. The April float also trailed the month’s five-year average by more than 5 percent, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association.
   Iron ore cargos for steel production totaled 3.9 million tons, a decrease of 12.6 percent. Some decrease was inevitable, the Lake Carriers’ Association said, pointing out that the winter of 2017-18 was more typical than 2016-17 and vessels experienced more ice-related delays this April. In fact, the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards continued to break ice in Whitefish Bay and the St. Marys River that connect Lake Superior to the lower four Great Lakes into May.
   Coal shipments fell 36.7 percent to 743,000 tons in April. Limestone cargos dipped 6.5 percent to 1.1 million tons, the association said.
   According to Lake Carriers’ Association figures, year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 9.4 million tons, a decrease of 17 percent compared to the same point in 2017. Iron ore cargos total 6.75 million tons, a decrease of 16 percent. Coal loadings total 837,000 tons, a decrease of 43 percent. Limestone cargos have increased by roughly four loads in river-class vessels to 1.27 million tons.

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