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: Feds protect 20 species of coral as threatened

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

Using sound to protect aquatic life

Apr 22, 2013

The large cargo ships that steam daily into Newark Bay unload more than the colorful containers stacked on deck - from their holds they also can release millions of gallons of water teeming with tiny sea creatures from faraway ...

Recommended for you

Feds allows logging after huge California wildfire

6 hours ago

The U.S. Forest Service has decided to allow logging on nearly 52 square miles of the Sierra Nevada burned last year in a massive California wildfire, a move contested by environmentalists.

User comments : 0