Coal shipments experienced the biggest dip among these carriers in 2018 at 11.8 million tons, a decrease of 11.4 percent compared to 2017.
Iron ore cargoes in 2018, compared to the year prior, decreased 0.4 percent for 45. 8 million tons transported.
The Lake Carriers’ Association said the iron ore volumes were “noteworthy,” since transport delays in March and April due to heavy ice resulted in the trade’s volume being setback 16 percent by the end of the April.
“In fact, the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards continued to break ice in Whitefish Bay at the eastern end of Lake Superior and the St. Marys River that connects Lake Superior to the lower four Great Lakes into May,” the association said in a statement.
Most U.S.-flag lakers have now arrived at their winter berths. According to the Lake Carriers Association, two vessels in the ore/stone/coal trade are heading to their lay-up docks, while two cement carriers currently remain in service.
The association represents 13 American companies that operate 45 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes.