2010 Duluth-Superior Shipping Season Finishes Strong; Last Laker in for Winter Layup

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Strong finish to 2010 Shipping Season in Duluth-Superior

Duluth, Minn., USA - The 2010 shipping season officially came to a close in the Port of Duluth-Superior today with the morning arrival of the John G. Munson, the last vessel inbound for winter layup. Altogether, ten U.S.-flagged vessels that transport dry bulk cargoes across the Great Lakes - aka "lakers" - will winter in the Twin Ports this year. Instead of closing Saturday, Jan. 15, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers kept the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., open through Tuesday to enable companies on the lower Lakes to stockpile more iron ore and coal.  "Industry appreciates how hard Coast Guard icebreakers and local tug operators worked to keep shipping channels open and docks accessible in heavy ice conditions to extend the season," said Adolph Ojard, executive director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Tonnage rebounds, momentum builds for 2011 season

The 2010 shipping season finished strong in the Port of Duluth-Superior, reaching a season-end total of 39.8 million short tons - a 28 percent increase compared to tonnage handled during the economically depressed navigation season of 2009.  

Led by a nearly 80 percent rebound in iron ore shipments for the steel industry, the 2010 season also saw solid performances in limestone, coal and project cargo (i.e. wind turbine components) -  plus a 68 percent surge in grain shipments as this Port helped meet global demand for wheat after crop failures in Russia and its neighboring countries.   

"We witnessed a significant recovery in 2010; these numbers are very encouraging," said Ojard. "The rebound in iron ore shipments and steel-making operations mirrors optimism in other sectors that this country's economic recovery is gaining strength. Momentum bodes well for an equally strong start to the 2011 navigation season."                                                       

Port of Duluth-Superior 2010 Navigation Season Recap at a Glance

  • Overall tonnage - 39.8 million short tons - up 28% from last year  
  • Iron Ore - up 79% from last year to 14.6 million short tons
  • Grain - up 68% from this time last year
  • Coal shipments steady at 18.5 million short tons (compared to 18.4 in 2009)
  • "Other" cargoes up 30%  (led by limestone; also includes cement, salt, stone & project cargo)
  • 12 shiploads of wind turbine components - 172,000 freight tons
  • Vessel visits - up 37% 

To see the full January 2011 & Season Final 2010 tonnage report,


For information contact:  Adele Yorde, 218.727.8525




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