Flag Lakers' cargo is not having a great start when it comes to shipments

By KBJR News 1

July 15, 2014 Updated Jul 15, 2014 at 9:56 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Lake transport is lagging for Great Lakes shipping so far this season. Cargo shipments are down 17% from this time last year.

As of the end of June, the U.S. flag cargo shipments on the Great Lakes are at 27 million tons. Shipping experts say the late ice out is to blame for the drop in cargo shipments.

Many of those vessels that tried to traverse the ice–covered Great Lakes suffered damage, and some had to be removed from service to allow for repairs.

Iron ore shipments for the steel industry totaled 14 million tons at the end of the second quarter, which is a decrease of about 20% compared to last year.

Coal cargos are currently at 5.1 million tons through June and limestone is at 6.2 million tons, both down significantly from a year ago.

Ramona Marozas