2017 commercial shipping season gets underway in Port of Duluth-Superior

The first U.S.-flag lakers departed the Port of Duluth-Superior March 22, signaling the start of the 2017 commercial shipping season at the farthest inland port on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system.

The Roger Blough left her berth at the Clure Public Marine Terminal at first light and departed beneath Duluth’s famed Aerial Bridge en route to the CN Docks in Two Harbors to load iron ore. After fueling late afternoon/early evening, another Great Lakes Fleet vessel, the Philip R. Clarke, also headed to Two Harbors to take on the first cargo of the season. Both vessels, with deliveries to steel mills on the Lower Lakes, proceeded across Lake Superior toward Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to the Soo Locks, which opened March 25

Interlake’s flagship, the 1013.5-ft Paul R. Tregurtha, wintered at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal and loaded coal there, then moved to the Clure Terminal for final preparations before leaving for Silver Bay. After discharge, that vessel will return to Superior to load coal for her first interlake delivery to the St. Clair Power Plant in Michigan.

Two more Interlake Steamship Co. freighters that wintered in the Twin Ports—the Lee A. Tregurtha and the Herbert C. Jackson—departed as well. Both vessels stopped to fuel at the Calumet dock in Duluth before heading out to Two Harbors and Silver Bay, respectively, to load iron ore.

The Burns Harbor moved from layup to the BNSF Railway Dock to load iron ore before departing via the Superior Entry. American Century left March 23 to load in Silver Bay while fleetmate, the American Spirit, moved to the CN Duluth Dock to load iron ore over the weekend before getting underway. 

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Maritime Editorial