The Lake Carriers’ Association has issued the following news release, dated January 22:
CLEVELAND – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 24.6 million tons in 2013, a decrease of 2.8 percent compared to 2012. Some of the decrease can be attributed to the early onset of winter in December, which lead to a 17-percent decrease in loadings on Lake Superior.
Individual cargos were further reduced toward the end of the month when vessels voluntarily lightened their drafts to ease transits through an ice-clogged stretch of the St. Marys River that connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes. One 1,000-foot-long vessel experienced a 4,474-ton reduction in payload when its first and last cargos of December were compared.
For the year, coal loadings at Lake Superior terminals totaled 15 million tons, a decrease of 62,000 tons compared to 2012. Overseas coal exports from Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, totaled 1,381,000 tons in 2013, a 38,000-ton increase compared to 2012.
Coal loadings out of Chicago, Illinois, totaled 2.9 million tons in 2013, a decrease of 11.4 percent or 370,000 tons compared to 2012.
Coal loadings at Lake Erie docks totaled 6.7 million tons, a decrease of 4 percent or 280,000 tons compared to 2012.
Lake Carriers’ Association represents 17 American companies that operate 57 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes and 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. Those cargos support more than 103,000 jobs with an average wage of $47,000. More information is available at www.lcaships.com.