CLEVELAND, OHIO (August 13, 2021) – The Lake Carriers’ Association has published the annual “State of the Lakes.”
Lake Carriers’ Association’s (LCA’s) work has always been about the mariner, but 2020 and the beginning of 2021 pegged the needle, so to speak. Unlike many of us, the mariner never had a chance to work “remotely.” Their job is one of the most hands-on out there. We need them on the boat, in the engine room, and at the wheel. During the 2020 sailing season, no LCA members’ crew contracted COVID while serving onboard their vessel. Credit planning, education, and response. As discussed last year, LCA developed plans for onboard prevention and response plans focusing on onshore partnerships, extensive coordination, and building out infrastructure. At the outset of the 2021 shipping season, LCA members were not as fortunate with two vessels reporting incidents of confirmed COVID cases. However, plans, members, their crew, and the shoreside partnerships LCA formed worked like they should, without a hitch. “Safety is job #1 and a good response lets the business jump back quickly with a few lessons learned,” stated Jim Weakley, President of LCA.
Other highlights discussed in this issue of the 2021 State of the Lakes includes the Congressional progress as the Great Lakes Winter Commerce Act (GLWCA) winds its way through the halls of the Capitol in D.C., LCA’s program in concert with the Chippewa County (Michigan) Health Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Soo to get vaccines to our mariners (aptly named “Shots on Ships” or “SOS”), funding for the new large lock at the Soo, the growth in federal funding for the maritime infrastructure here in the Great Lakes and progress on other matters of importance to maintain the most efficient and environmentally friendly mode of commercial transportation.
2021 is back on track to be a good year for U.S. Great Lakes shipping. Numbers are the most succinct demonstration as cargo shipments have surged back after the impacts from COVID-19 in 2020.
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 energy: iron ore, stone, coal, cement, and other dry bulk materials such as grain, salt, and sand.