U.S.-Flag Lakers’ Cargo Up 14 Percent in January
CLEVELAND—U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 3.9 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in January, an increase of 14 percent compared to a year ago, and 41 percent better than the month’s 5-year average.
Iron ore cargos for the steel industry increased 21 percent compared to a year ago and outperformed their 5-year average by 58 percent.
Coal loadings slumped by 53 percent compared to 2011, but fell slightly less – 45 percent – compared to the trade’s 5- year average. Only one limestone cargo moved in January, which is more or less typical.
Since much of the limestone shipped on the Lakes is rinsed before loading, shipments largely cease when temperatures slip below freezing.