Great Lakes iron ore shipments fell by 37 percent in January when compared to the same period a year ago, finishing the month at 2 million tons, according to the Lake Carriers' Association.
The group said inclement weather, which forced trips that should have taken three days into week-long voyages, and delays at loading docks caused the significant decline in activity.
Ore shipments from U.S. ports fell 39 percent, year over year, to 1.8 million tons, and shipments on the seaway fell 16 percent to 237,000 tons. The port in Escanaba, Mich., was the only port that showed a year-over-year increase in January, rising from 117,310 tons in January 2013 to 402,555 tons. The largest decrease occurred at the port in Two Harbors, Minn., which handled 924,672 tons in January 2013 and 449,732 tons in January 2014.