Trade Group Reports on Lakes Cargoes (5/20)


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The Lake Carriers’ Association has issued the following news release, dated May 20:


U.S.-Flag Lakers’ Float Down 11.4 Percent in April


CLEVELAND—U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 7.3 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in April, a decrease of 11.4 percent compared to 2013. The April float was also down from the month’s 5-year average, but much less so – 5 percent.


U.S.-flag lakers moved 4.1 million tons of iron ore in April, 73.1 percent of the Lakes ore trade that month. The 4.1 million tons represent a decrease of 9.9 percent compared to a year ago, but an increase of 5.8 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.


Coal shipments in U.S. hulls totaled 1.5 million tons, 68.3 percent of all the coal moving on the Lakes in April. The fleet’s April coal total was also a virtual repeat of a year ago.


The 1.4 million tons of limestone that U.S.-flag lakers hauled in April represent 74.4 percent of the trade that month. However, U.S.-flag stone cargos fell more than 28 percent when compared to a year ago.


Through April, the U.S.-flag float stands at 12.5 million tons, a decrease of 14.6 percent compared to a year ago. The largest decrease has come in iron ore; shipments are off by 1.1 million tons or 11.4 percent. However, compared to the 5-year average for the January-April timeframe, U.S.-flag cargos are down by just 2.2 percent, and iron ore is up by 8.7 percent.


Lake Carriers’ Association represents 17 American companies that operate 57 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes that carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, aggregate and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation, as well as salt, sand and grain. Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo per year.


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