According to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA), shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes came in at 1.8 million t in April 2015. This is higher than the corresponding month in 2014 (968 472 t) and 2013 (1.6 million t). However, April 2015’s figure is 9% lower than the month’s 5-year average and down 30% on April 2012, the last April in which the Great Lakes did not suffer from icy conditions that were ‘near arctic’.
Ice formations meant that US-flag Class V lakers that are involved in the stone trade had to delay their sailings by 60 days, collectively, compared to last year. Yet the LCA notes that efforts to gain more icebreaking resources are making headway. A provision in the Coast Guard Authorisation Bill, which has been approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, directs the US Coast Guard to build a new, multi-mission icebreaker. This should help to alleviate the situation somewhat on the Great Lakes, which have seen cargo deliveries severely impacted by two years of harsh winters.
Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/15052015/limestone-shipments-great-lakes-april-2015-847/