Did you know?
For every inch the Great Lakes recede, ships must reduce their loads between 50 and 270 tons. At the end of last shipping season, with waters particularly low on Lake Superior, ships lost about 8,000 tons per trip -- about 11 percent of their carrying capacity.
Last year, a little more than 1 billion tons of goods such as iron ore, coal and limestone, were waterborne in the U.S. Shippers on the Great Lakes hauled 110 million tons of cargo, with more than half of that iron ore.
Back in the late 1990s, shippers hauled as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year on the Great Lakes. Last year's numbers are at least partially due to the low water levels, but the steel industry -- which uses iron ore -- has been slow. The coal trade has been steady and the roughly 70 ships in the U.S. fleet regularly sail.
April 13, 2007 6:39 AM | Category: Boats