Cargo Reports – Year-in-Review 2023 – U.S.-Flag Vessels

January 31, 2024
January 31, 2024 LCA

U.S.-Flag Great Lakes Shipping Up 6.5 Percent in 2023

CLEVELAND – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 81.4 million tons of cargo in 2023, an increase of 6.5 percent compared to 2022.  The 2023 float was 1.2 percent above the fleet’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos totaled 42.4 million tons, an increase of 13.4 percent compared to a year earlier.  Coal cargos were down 9.7 percent to 8.4 million tons.  Limestone shipments increased by 3.9 percent to 24.6 million tons, while cement shipments were a near match to 2022 at 3.7 million tons.  Salt and grain cargos were down by 5.8 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively. Sand shipments increased by 12.4 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

 # # #

 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.


Contact Us

Navigate and connect with the Lake Carriers’ Association.


Lake Carriers’ Association
25651 Detroit Road
Suite 102
Westlake, OH 44145





© 1880-2024 Lake Carriers’ Association. All rights reserved. | About | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions