Ice Didn’t Loosen Its Stranglehold on U.S.-Flag Lakers in April
CLEVELAND—U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) moved only 3.8 million tons of cargo in April, a decrease of nearly 50 percent compared to a year ago. Heavy ice, especially on Lake Superior, slowed transits to not much more than crawl at times. In fact, the ice on Lake Superior was so challenging that it was not until May 2 that the U.S. Coast Guard stopping convoying vessels and allowed lakers to operate on those waters without escort.
Iron ore cargos totaled less than 2 million tons in April, a decrease of 52 percent compared to a year ago. With all but one of the U.S. iron ore loading ports located on Lake Superior, ice was again the reason for the plunge in shipments.