Port of Duluth-Superior prepares for arrival of 1st Saltie of the 2012 Shipping Season

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Duluth, Minn. USA - The Port of Duluth-Superior is anxiously awaiting the arrival of its first oceangoing vessel ("saltie") of the 2012 commercial navigation season. The Dutch-flagged Arubaborg is scheduled to arrive early afternoon tomorrow - Friday, April 6.  Once it sails beneath the Duluth Aerial Bridge, the 469-foot vessel is expected to sit ‘at anchor' in the harbor for the holiday weekend before loading at CHS in Superior on Monday.  

The Arubaborg began her voyage in Europe and stopped in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to discharge steel pipe en route to the Twin Ports. At the CHS grain terminal, she will load just over 11,350 short tons (10,300 mt) of durum wheat bound for Belgium; it is anticipated that she will depart Monday evening. Local vessel agent for the Arubaborg is Guthrie-Hubner. The vessel is under the command of Romanian Captain Mihail Garaiman.

Just as excited for the ship's arrival are the 1,300+ entrants in this year's First Ship Contest who have tried to guess the exact day, hour, minute & second, the ship will pass beneath the Lift Bridge. The annual competition is cosponsored by Visit Duluth and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. 

The Port Authority will host a First Ship Ceremony on Monday to welcome the 14-member crew to the Port of Duluth-Superior  - currently set for 11 a.m. onboard the vessel. Community leaders and stakeholders from the maritime industry invited to participate include, among others: Duluth Mayor Don Ness, Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen, Superior Port Director Jason Serck, Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Adolph Ojard, Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers Director Tom Anderson, and Gene Shaw, Visit Duluth director of public relations, who will announce the winner of the 2012 First Ship Contest.  Due to homeland security regulations, the ceremony is an invitation-only event.

"Having the Port of Duluth-Superior situated strategically at the far western tip of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway provides a direct link between the heartland of North America and markets in Europe and other Mediterranean countries," said Adolph Ojard, Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director. "Utilizing this inland marine highway keeps transportation costs competitive and enables North Dakota farmers - as well as providers of other bulk commodities like coal and iron ore pellets - to compete in a global marketplace." 

The Arubaborg will arrive nearly a week earlier than last year's first ship (Federal Leda, April 11, 2011); the Port's earliest recorded arrival of an oceangoing vessel was the Indian-flagged LT Argosy on April 1, 1995.   

Note:  High quality pasta is made of 100 percent durum wheat. Durum is developed specifically to have the right gluten strength and color for the best pasta consistency and taste. According to the N.D. Wheat Commission, nearly 60 percent of the nation's durum is produced in North Dakota - enough durum annually for 13.7 billion servings of pasta.


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