North American Great Lakes coal shipments fell 8.2% in 2012

Shipments of coal on the North American Great Lakes totalled 25.4 million tons in 2012, a decrease of 8.2% compared with 2011, according to the Lake Carriers’ Assn.

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Coal shipments from ports on Lake Superior were 15.1 million tons, which was just about even with 2011. Included in that total were 1.3 million tons shipped to Quebec City for transfer onto ocean-going vessels for delivery overseas.

Loadings at terminals in Chicago totalled 3.2 million tons, a decrease of 14.5% from 2011 but slightly above their five-year average.

Shipments from ports on Lake Erie totalled 7 million tons, a decrease of nearly 19% compared with 2011.

“The effects of falling water levels and lack of adequate dredging were clearly evident as the year came to a close,” the Lake Carriers’ Assn said. “The largest coal cargo shipped through the locks at Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, in December totalled 62, 043 tons.”