Ice still present on the Great Lakes is greatly impacting transportation, causing shipment numbers to stagnate or decrease.
The Lake Carriers’ Association, in a press release issued Monday, said iron ore shipments in May were about 600,000 less than expected due to three U.S.-flag lakers being out of service for 65 days because of damage from heavy ice on the lakes.
The ice conditions are hurting shippers even as the summer season begins.
Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.8 million tons, the association reported, unchanged from a year ago.
“Year-to-date, the Lakes ore trade stands at 12.7 million tons, a decrease of 26 percent compared to a year ago,” the association said in the release. “The decrease reflects the brutal ice conditions that prevailed well into April.”