Cargo shipments on the Great Lakes continued to increase in July.
U.S.-flag ships moved a total of 11.4 million tons of cargo in July, up 16.4% compared to last year and 10.2% above the month's five-year average, according to the Lake Carriers' Association, which represents 13 U.S. companies and their 46 ships.
Each full month of the 2019 Great Lakes shipping season has seen larger total cargos than the same month in 2018.
July 2019 iron ore cargos for steel production totaled 6.2 million tons, an increase of 18.2% compared to July 2018, and 24.6% above the month's five-year average.
Coal shipments, which have been falling steadily in recent years, fell to 1.2 million tons in June, down more than 6.1% from the year before and down more than 32% compared to July's five-year average.
Limestone shipments reached 3.4 million tons, up almost 24% compared to July 2018.
Year-to-date cargo sits at 43.7 million tons, an increase of 13.9% compared to the same point in 2018. Iron ore cargos total 24.5 million tons, an increase of more than 14%. Year-to-date coal loadings sit at 5.5 million tons, up 11.8% and limestone cargos have hit 11.1 million tons, a 12.4% increase.