U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 9.5 million tons of cargo in May, a virtual repeat of the same period the previous year. The May float did trail the month's five-year average mark by 4.3 percent.
Iron ore cargoes for steel production totaled 4,912,951 tons, an increase of 27,078 tons, or roughly one load in a 767-foot-long laker.
Coal shipments were likewise little changed from May of the previous year. Loadings totaled 1,405,989 tons, a decrease of 29,411 tons, again roughly one cargo for a mid-sized self-unloading laker.
Limestone loads totaled 2,771,320 tons. The gain over the previous year was again slight - 50,199 tons.
Year to date at the end of May, U.S.-flag carriage stood at 18.9 million tons, a decrease of 9.4 percent compared with the same point in 2017. Iron ore cargoes totaled 11.7 million tons, a decrease of 9.8 percent. Coal loadings totaled 2.2 million tons, a decrease of 23 percent. Limestone cargoes now top 4 million tons, an increase of 3.3 percent.