Cargo Reports – Year-in-Review 2021 – U.S.-Flag Vessels

February 16, 2022
February 16, 2022 LCA

U.S.-Flag Shipping on the Great Lakes Up 16.8 Percent in 2021

CLEVELAND – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 81.8 million tons of cargo in 2021, an increase of 16.8 percent compared to 2020.  The 2021 float was less than 1 percent below the fleet’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos totaled 41.7 million tons, an increase of 12.4 percent compared to a year earlier.  Shipments of all other commodities increased as well in 2021. Coal cargos were up 42.7 percent to 10.4 million tons.  Limestone and cement shipments increased by 16.7 and nearly 5 percent, respectively.  Salt cargos were up by 34.2 percent.  Shipments of sand were up by 21.6 percent, while grain cargos increased by 16.3 percent.

About Lake Carriers’ Association

Since 1880, Lake Carriers’ has represented the U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet, which today can move more than 90 million tons of cargos annually that are the foundation of American industry, infrastructure, and power: iron ore, stone, coal, cement, and other dry bulk materials such as grain, salt, and sand. More information is available at

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 Information based on data from knowledgeable sources.  However, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  LCA assumes no legal responsibility for the outcome of decisions or commitments made on the basis of this information.  This report represents the views of LCA and may not necessarily represent the views of its individual members.


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