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Limestone Shipments Increase on Great Lakes

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 4,300,022 tons in July, an increase of 7.9% compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). The trade also bettered the month’s five-year average by 11%.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 3.485 million tons, an increase of 10.9% compared to 2018. Shipments from Canadian quarries dropped to 814,790 tons, a decrease of 3.3%.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 15.1 million tons, an increase of 13.4% compared to a year ago. Loadings from Michigan and Ohio quarries totaled 12.39 million tons, an increase of 14.2%. Shipments from Ontario quarries totaled 2.7 million tons, an increase of 9.8% compared to last year.

LCA represents 13 American companies that operate 46 U.S.-flag vessels (lakers) 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, sandand 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, the cargos its members carry create and sustain nearly 116,000 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.