Great Lakes Ore Trade Down 11 Percent in January
CLEVELAND—Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes in January totaled 3.2 million tons, a decrease of 11 percent compared to a year ago. The comparison is somewhat problematic, as the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, stayed open until January 18 in 2012, but closed on January 15 this year. The extra three days in 2012 were necessary to allow cargos to move that had been delayed by weather.
A storm this January could have justified a similar extension. U.S.-flag lakers lost more than 300 hours to heavy weather and then a jam-up at a Lake Superior loading port. At least one iron ore cargo was cancelled for fear the vessel would not be able to reach the locks by the required time.