Great Lakes cargoes down in June
The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visited the Duluth port last week and heard local industry leaders talk about the importance of Great Lakes shipping. Foxx was eager to see the port both from his airplane and up close. Vanta Coda...
The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visited the Duluth port last week and heard local industry leaders talk about the importance of Great Lakes shipping.
Foxx was eager to see the port both from his airplane and up close.
Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said Great Lakes shipping moves cargoes accounting for 13 percent of the nation’s gross national product. He called on Foxx to help continue new rounds of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery funding, or TIGER grants, that fund port and freight rail projects.
“Those types of programs encourage our community in the transportation industry to do our best work,” Coda said, citing TIGER funds used to help rehabilitate docks C & D in the Duluth harbor. Those docks will open next spring and figure to be put to use right away for wind energy equipment bound for the Midwest interior.
“Duluth is a beautiful city,” Foxx said. “We like to help, and now I know more about how to help Duluth.”
Also last week, monthly domestic shipping numbers were released, showing a Great Lakes chain that enjoyed a busy but less-than-stellar June.
Not accounting for foreign vessels, U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 9.65 million tons of cargo in June, a decrease of 6.4 percent compared to a year ago.
The June float was also 5 percent below the month’s five-year average, said the Lake Carriers’ Association in its monthly news release last week.
According to the news release, iron ore cargoes for the steel industry totaled 4.8 million tons, an increase of 8 percent compared to a year ago.
Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.5 million tons, a decrease of nearly 28 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a decrease of 4.4 percent compared to a year ago.
Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 30.5 million tons, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the same point in 2015.
Iron ore cargoes are up 7.2 percent, but coal cargoes have dipped 28 percent. Limestone shipments trail last year by 2.3 percent.
Two Harbors and Superior both shipped just more than 1.3 million tons of iron ore in July, followed locally by Duluth (453,151 tons) and Silver Bay (311,743 tons).
The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 14 American companies that operate 56 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes.