Great Lakes Limestone Trade Up 1.3 Percent in 2018


Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 28.4 million tons in 2018, an increase of 1.3 percent compared to 2017, reported the Lake Carriers’ Association. 2018’s loadings were also 2.8 percent above the trade’s five-year average. 

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 23.45 million tons, an increase of 1.2 percent compared to 2017. Shipments from U.S. quarries also topped their five-year average by a like percent.

Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 4.9 million tons, an increase of 1.7 percent from 2017, and 10.8 percent better than their five-year average.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 13 American companies that operate 45 U.S.-flag vessels 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, those cargos 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.