Shipping suffers as Great Lakes shrink

Oct 22, 2007

U.S. shipping companies are losing money for every inch the Great Lakes shrink, with water levels 7 inches below average, The New York Times reported.

In a report from the port city of Oswego, N.Y., on Lake Ontario, the Times said for every inch the water level drops, ships must reduce their cargo by 270 tons or risk running aground.

The Army Corps of Engineers report levels in all five Great Lakes -- Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario -- aren't likely to return to near average at least until March as winter runoff and precipitation replenish the chain.

James Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers' Association, told the Times 240 million tons of cargo travel across the Great Lakes every year and each of the U.S. fleet of 63 ships has had to reduce their cargo capacity by 8,000 tons this year.

"When a ship leaves a dock and it's not filled to capacity, it's the same as a plane leaving an airport with empty seats -- it cuts into their earning capacity," said Richard Stewart, a co-director of the Transportation and Logistics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Mountain of electrical waste reaches new peak

Related Stories

Final solar wing deployment test for Sentinel-2A

Apr 09, 2015

Once in space, Sentinel-2A will open its solar wing to generate the power it needs to carry out the task of monitoring Earth's vegetation. Engineers have recently made sure this move is well rehearsed before ...

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

Dec 21, 2014

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Great Lakes welcome rising water levels

Jul 08, 2014

After years of parched shorelines, water levels in the Great Lakes have come rushing back. The crowds that flock to the Superior shoreline this summer are finding harbors deeper and beaches narrower than they've been in 15 ...

Avoiding alien marine invaders

Apr 25, 2014

Picture a young man seated on the deck of an old wooden sailing ship, a whaling vessel made of white oak, yellow pine and hemlock, built in 1841, the last of its kind. He is reading—what else?—"Moby Dick."

Great Lakes become nearly covered with ice

Feb 15, 2014

From the bridge of the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, northern Lake Huron looks like a vast, snow-covered field dotted with ice slabs as big as boulders—a battleground for the icebreaker's 58-member crew ...

Recommended for you

Mountain of electrical waste reaches new peak

6 hours ago

A record amount of electrical and electronic waste hit the rubbish tips in 2014, with the biggest per-capita tallies in countries that pride themselves on environmental consciousness, a report said Sunday.

China's struggle for water security

Apr 18, 2015

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".

Canada revises upward CO2 emission data since 1990

Apr 18, 2015

Canada revised its greenhouse gas emission data from 1990 to 2013 in a report Friday, showing it had higher carbon dioxide discharges each year, and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.