U.S.-Flagged Shipping Up 6.5% in the Great Lakes in 2023

U.S.-Flagged Shipping Up 6.5% in the Great Lakes in 2023

New data provided by the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) has revealed that cargo volumes moved by U.S.-flagged freighters across the Great Lakes increased by 6.5% compared to 2022.

Additionally, the 81.4 million tons of cargo transported by the laker fleet was 1.2% above the fleet’s five-year average. 

Bulk cargoes represented the largest share of the overall cargo volume, with iron ore cargoes totalling 42.2 million tons - an increase of 13.4% compared to 2022. 

Other major cargo segments included white limestone, with 24.6 million tons transported in 2023 - an increase of 3.9% over 2022. Sand shipments increased by a sizable 12.4%.

Some cargo segments did see a year-on-year decline, however. Coal cargoes dropped to 8.4 million tons - a decrease of 9.7% compared to 2022. Salt cargoes declined by 5.8%, whilst grain cargoes decreased by 11.8%. 

The figures come at a positive time for the Great Lakes shipping industry, with shipping owners investing approximately $120 million into their vessels and labour forces. 

Commenting on the current situation, Jim Weakley, President of the Lake Carriers Association, said: 

“It is truly an amazing system where U.S. Lakers sail non-stop between March and January delivering as much cargo as possible before entering a two-month repair period. The work is not only vital to maintaining the U.S. fleet but also to the communities where it is performed, bringing excellent paying, hard-working jobs to everyday Americans”.

3D Marine: supporting shipping across the Americas

If you require support with your vessels anywhere in the Americas, then 3D Marine can help. 

3D Marine offers full service consulting for the maritime industry across the region with our services including marine consulting and surveying, marine engineering, naval architecture, pollution control and more. 

Find out more about 3D Marine today

For more maritime industry news and developments, explore the Brookes Bell News and Knowledge Hub

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Adam Whittle
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