It probably does have something to do with it - word on the waterfront seems to be that AIP/Rand is running the ASC footers with notably small crews. If that's so, it likely allows them to charge lower freight rates in the short term, even if it means ASC vessels might end up with shortened life spans in the long term from the deferred maintenance and increased wear and tear that a very small crew might lead to.ML wrote:Did CN lose hauling contracts with US Steel to ASC? Seems like the last few years ASC's footers haul to Gary and Conneaut and am wondering if that has any play in CN layups and the Blough's fate..
In the short term this might mean that ASC is able to charge lower freight rates than GLF. Given how some of GLF's ships were built and how they've been maintained, some of those GLF ships are likely to last much longer than most ASC ships, however.
The big looming variable is what happens with new shipping industry-wide fuel efficiency standards coming from c. 2023 onward, which might make for some unpredictable outcomes in the business of Lakes shipping which a lot of us in 2021 might think of as very unlikely.