U.S. Great Lakes freighters move highest monthly cargo tonnage in two years

By KBJR News 1

August 13, 2014 Updated Aug 13, 2014 at 6:34 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - July was a good month for the maritime industry.

Last month U.S. Great Lakes freighters moved their highest monthly total of cargo in two years, over 11.36 million tons.

That's an increase of 10.2 percent compared to last year.

Port Authority officials say it's a good sign, but it still doesn't make up for the tonnage lost this spring when the lake was frozen over.

"Catching up for individual customers will always be a challenge; because there is no way you can lose four or five weeks of cargo shipments and hope to make up all of those in a full season," said Public Relations Director, Adele Yorde, "But some things that are weighing in our favor, 55 U.S. flag vessels are out there. So, that's five more than were last year."

Another good thing, Yorde says the extensive ice on the lake this winter resulted in higher water levels this summer, which means lakers can carry more cargo.