DULUTH, Minn. — The first oceangoing vessel of the 2022 maritime shipping season is scheduled to arrive Wednesday in the Port of Duluth-Superior.
Resko, a 624-foot bulk carrier from the Polsteam fleet, will earn 2022 First Ship honors, completing the season’s first full transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway en route to the Great Lakes’ westernmost port. By tradition, this first full transit marks the annual opening of the Duluth-Superior Harbor, although the interlake navigation season began with the Soo Locks’ opening on March 25.
Upon arrival through the Duluth Ship Canal and under the Aerial Lift Bridge, Resko will visit Superior’s Gavilon Grain Connors Point Terminal to load approximately 16,200 short tons of spring wheat and 5,400 short tons of durum wheat destined for Italy.
The ship will arrive in ballast after unloading more than 5,500 short tons of steel skidded coils in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where it was feted as that port’s first international vessel of the season. Resko’s journey originated in Ijmuiden, Netherlands, and also included a stop in Burns Harbor, Indiana.
“Despite winter’s lingering chill this year, arrival of the season’s first full Seaway transit is a true sign of spring and always of the prosperity these great ships help deliver to our region,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “We’re excited to see it and excited also to share its Midwestern wheat cargo with the world. It’s another example of how Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipping delivers the critical goods and raw materials of everyday life.”
The Port Authority’s annual First Ship welcoming event is scheduled for Friday. A fixture of the celebration – the First Ship contest, co-sponsored by Visit Duluth and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority – will crown a winner from more than 3,600 entries based on the official arrival time of Resko.
The first saltie’s arrival each season is a reminder that the Port of Duluth-Superior is truly Mid-America’s gateway to the world. Located 2,342 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, Duluth-Superior is the Great Lakes’ top tonnage port and one of the nation’s top 20. It links North America’s heartland to regional and overseas markets, enabling manufacturers and cargo owners to compete in the global marketplace.
About Gavilon Grain Connors Point Terminal: Formerly known as Peavey Company-Connors Point, the Gavilon facility can hold more than 8 million bushels of grain. Most typically, that allotment includes spring wheat, winter wheat, durum wheat and sugar beet pulp pellets. The Gavilon terminal moves approximately 15-20 million bushels of grain annually.
About Polsteam and its vessel, Resko: Founded in 1951 and based in the Polish city of Szczecin, Polsteam is among Europe’s most prominent shipping companies, with 56 bulk carriers and four ferries sporting its colors. The company’s main focus is transporting bulk cargoes on the global shipping market. Resko is sailing under the Bahamas flag and is captained by Lukasz Pionke of Poland. The ship was built in 2010. Its carrying capacity is approximately 33,000 short tons.
Historical Note: The latest arrival of the port’s first saltie was May 7, 2014 (Diana). The earliest was March 30, 2013 (Federal Hunter).
Approximately 800 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 nearly 8,000 jobs and contributes $1.4 billion in business revenue to the regional economy. Learn more at DuluthPort.com.