Great Lakes coal shipments drop in November: LCA

NOVEMBER was a tough month for the coal shipment scene on the Great Lakes, with tonnage falling more than 7% from totals a year ago.

Donna Schmidt

According to the newest monthly report from the Lake Carrier’s Association, coal traffic in November was 2.67 million tons, a 4.1% drop from October and a reduction of 7.3% year-on-year.

The largest GL terminal, Midwest Energy in Wisconsin, saw shipments of more than 1.55Mt in November, 6.5% down from the same period last year and reduction of nearly 5% versus October.

Year-to-date, coal exports from the complex has reported 1.504Mt, up more than 20% from the same period in 2012.

At another major terminal in the system, Thunder Bay Terminals in Ontario, shipped 33,382t in November. The figure was a stark 33.1% reduction from October’s numbers and an even more startling drop of nearly 62% year-on-year.

The KCBX terminal in Chicago shipped almost 314,000t in November, down more than 11% from 2012, while the Lake Erie terminals in Ohio saw a total of nearly 771,000t leave its docks during the month – about 1% lower than the 2012 comparable period.

In all, year-to-date Great Lakes coal shipments totaled 22.4Mt, about 2.7% year-on-year.

LCA companies operate 57 US-flag vessels on the Great Lakes, carrying coal as well as ore and flux stone, salt, sand, grain and more.

Collectively, the vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo annually.