SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) — Water levels are lower than usual in the Upper Great
Lakes, which is bad news for the shippers who rely on those waterways.
When water levels decline, ships can’t be weighed down to maximum capacity.
Instead the shippers “light-load,” which keeps the vessels from riding down
too low but means valuable cargo space is wasted.
Lake Superior is down a foot from long-term averages.
Lake Michigan is down 15 inches.
Lake Carriers Association executive Glen Neckvasil said that forces shippers
to carry smaller cargoes. He tells Wisconsin Public Radio (http://bit.ly/a6Nkkg
) that ships that carried 71,000 tons per trip in 1997 carried 59,000 this
However, weather forecasts are promising.
The Army Corp of Engineers says water levels on Lakes Michigan and Superior
should rise three to four inches in coming weeks.