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Port of Duluth-Superior berths Pacesetter Award

May 21, 2019

DULUTH, Minn. – The United States Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation will present its 2018 Pacesetter Award to the Port of Duluth-Superior tomorrow as part of the region’s National Maritime Day festivities. The award salutes Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System ports that registered international cargo tonnage increases during the 2018 shipping season.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Deb DeLuca will accept the honor on behalf of the Port of Duluth-Superior, which last season registered an 11.5 percent season-over-season gain in international tonnage shipped. The increase was driven primarily by a 19 percent jump in grain tonnage.

“In terms of total tonnage, the 2018 season was Duluth-Superior’s best since 2014, so it was a solid season overall,” said DeLuca. “International shipping, the Pacesetter Award criterion, certainly played a role in that 2018 success, with a slight uptick in the number of international vessels and a double-digit increase in the percentage of international tonnage shipped through the Port.”

Duluth-Superior was one of eight ports to earn 2018 Pacesetter honors, joining the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority, Port Milwaukee (Wisconsin), the Port of Monroe (Michigan), the Port of Muskegon (Michigan), the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (New York), the Port of Oswego (New York), and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority (Ohio).

“The 2018 season saw the highest cargo tonnage on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System in more than a decade, with nearly 41 million tons of cargo shipped – a 7 percent increase over 2017,” said St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Deputy Administrator Craig Middlebrook. “Our ports are making great contributions to the region, the nation and the world, and we’re certainly pleased to recognize Duluth-Superior among the eight Pacesetter Award recipients.”

The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation established the Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award in 1992 to recognize achievements of U.S. ports whose efforts resulted in increasing international tonnage shipped through the Seaway, excluding Canada, in comparison to the previous shipping season. Since the award’s inception, only the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has earned more Pacesetter Awards (18) than the Port of Duluth-Superior (17).


Approximately 900 vessels and 35 million short tons of cargo move through the Port of Duluth-Superior each year, making it the Great Lakes’ largest tonnage port and one of the nation’s top 20. The Port supports 8,000 jobs and contributes $1.4 billion in business revenue to the regional economy. Learn more at