U.S.-Flag Cargo Movement on Lakes Down 13 Percent in March
CLEVELAND — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 1.8 million tons of cargo in March, a decrease of 13 percent compared to a year ago. However, the March float topped the month’s 5-year average by more than 15 percent.
Iron ore cargos for steel production dominated the month. Cargos totaled 1.4 million tons, a decrease of 17 percent. That no iron ore moved from Escanaba, Michigan, is a factor in the decrease. That port used to resume iron ore shipments in early to mid-March. However, the mine that shipped through Escanaba has been indefinitely idled. Therefore, the iron ore trade to domestic steelmakers could not resume until the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, reopened on March 25.