Final tonnage numbers are in: Port of Duluth-Superior posts strong finish to 2018 shipping season

The Port of Duluth-Superior finished the 2018 shipping season on a strong note, having handled 35.9 million short tons of cargo.

“Shipments of Minnesota iron ore accounted for the lion’s share of tonnage moved through the Port of Duluth-Superior—21.5 million short tons, to be exact,” said Deb DeLuca, Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director. “Iron ore cargoes were up 9 percent year-over-year, outpacing the five-year average by 30-plus percent.”

Thanks to favorable ice conditions earlier this month, the last 1,000-footer left Duluth-Superior with pellets just two days before the Soo Locks closed on January 15.

International shipping through the St. Lawrence Seaway, in and out of the Great Lakes, had its best year in more than a decade—posting a 7 percent increase over the previous season and the most since 2007. Grain exports alone posted a 20 percent year-over-year increase, virtually mirroring increased grain traffic through the Port of Duluth-Superior in 2018.

Andrea Lee