U.S.-Flag Cargos on Lakes Up Nearly 15 Percent in October
CLEVELAND — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 11.3 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in October, an increase of 14.7 percent compared to a year ago. The October float was also 19.6 percent above the month’s long-term average.
Iron ore for North American steelmakers totaled 5.4 million tons in October, an increase of 21.3 percent compared to a year ago. The industry continues to benefit from high water levels. Several ore cargos topped 69,000 tons. Nonetheless, if the Great Lakes Navigation System was dredged to project dimensions, loads could have topped 72,000 tons. The industry is working with Congress to ensure dredging nationally is funded in FY15 at the level called for in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act: $1.166 billion. The increased funding should bring more dredging dollars back to the Lakes and begin to reverse the build-up of sediment in ports and waterways.