A report commissioned by the Lake Carriers’ Association found that ice-related delays and cargoes left on the dock during the 2018/19 ice season on the Great Lakes had a tremendous negative impact to the national economy. However, this wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime event. In 2014 and 2015 there was a combined two-year loss of $1 billion and another 5,800 jobs due to inadequate icebreaking resources.
When the shipping season opens, the fleet needs to work efficiently and effectively to move various cargoes of iron ore, limestone, coal, cement and other dry bulk materials such as grain, salt and sand. With a shortened season of nine and half months, every shipment is vitally important. Unfortunately, delays due to ice have stressed the supply chain to the breaking point.