Great Lakes Cargo Volume Down 4.5 Percent in 2016

Photo: Lake Carriers' Association
Photo: Lake Carriers’ Association

U.S.-flag freighters operating on the Great Lakes moved 83.3 million tons of cargo in 2016, a decrease of 4.5 percent compared to 2015, the Lake Carriers’ Association said Friday.

The 2016 float was also 7.7 percent below the fleet’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos totaled 44.1 million tons, an increase of 7.8 percent. However, all other commodities decreased. Coal was down 26.6 percent. Limestone (mostly aggregate and fluxstone) dipped by 8.4 percent. Cement decreased by 6 percent.

Salt cargos were off by nearly 11 percent, while shipments of sand fell by 17.1 percent and grain decreased by almost 30 percent.

The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 13 American companies that operate 49 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes.