August Another Strong Month for U.S.-Flag Lakes Fleet
CLEVELAND — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 11 million tons of cargo in August, their second-highest monthly total in two years. The August float, while down 3.2 percent from July, also represents an increase of 5 percent compared to a year ago.
Iron ore for steel production totaled 5.5 million tons, an increase of 23 percent compared to a year ago. Higher water levels again allowed some cargos to approach 70,000 tons, but with 18 million cubic yards of sediment clogging ports and waterways, the industry continues to surrender carrying capacity to the dredging crisis. The top ore loads in August were still about 3,000 tons short of what vessels were carrying in 1997, a period of near record-high water levels.