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Lakes Limestone Trade Strong Again in July


Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3,985,544 tons in July, an increase of 3.1 percent compared to a year ago. The trade also bettered the month’s five-year average by 5.5 percent, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 3.142 million tons, a decrease equal to one cargo in a mid-sized laker. Shipments from Canadian quarries rose to 843,000 tons, an increase of 20 percent, and the highest monthly total this decade.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 13.3 million tons, an increase of 5 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings from Michigan and Ohio quarries total 10.85 million tons, an increase of 5.5 percent. Shipments from Ontario quarries total 2.4 million tons, an increase equal to about four boatloads in mid-sized lakers.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 13 American companies that operate 45 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes and carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, aggregate and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation, as well as salt, sand and grain.

Collectively, its members can transport more than 90 million tons of dry-bulk cargo per year and employ more than 1,600 men and women, all of whom are U.S. citizens or legally admitted aliens, and provide annual wages and benefits of approximately $125 million. In turn, those cargos create and sustain nearly 116,00 jobs in the eight Great Lakes states and generate more than $20 billion in economic activity, $8.3 billion in personal income, $16.4 billion in business revenue, $4.1 billion in local purchases and $3.7 billion in taxes.