U.S.-Flag Lakers’ Float Down 7 Percent in March
CLEVELAND—U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 2.2 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in March, a decrease of 7 percent compared to 2012. However, the fleet’s March float was marginally ahead of the month’s 5-year average. Iron ore shipments in U.S. hulls rose slightly – 25,000 tons – compared to a year ago, but loadings of coal declined by more than 60 percent. The fleet’s limestone trade nearly doubled.
Through the first quarter, U.S.-flag lakers have hauled 5.2 million tons of cargo, a decrease of nearly 19 percent compared to the same point in 2012. Iron ore cargos are down by 13.4 percent. Coal loadings are down by more than 50 percent, but limestone is 61 percent ahead of last year’s pace.