NEW YORK Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 3.2 million tons in January, an 11-percent decrease from a year earlier, according to Lake Carriers Association data.
"The comparison is somewhat problematic, as the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., stayed open until Jan. 18 in 2012 but closed on Jan. 15 this year," the group said. The three extra days in January last year were needed to move weather-delayed cargoes.
"A storm this January could have justified a similar extension. (U.S.-flag vessels) lost more than 300 hours to heavy weather and then a jam-up at Lake Superior loading port," it said. At least one iron ore shipment was canceled because it was feared the vessel couldnt reach the locks in time.
A total of 2.9 million tonnes were shipped from U.S. Great Lakes ports in January, down from 3.6 million tonnes a year ago.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.