Twin Ports Shipping Season Under Way

2017 Shipping Season Kicks Off This Week


The Twin Ports shipping season kicked off Wednesday. The Roger Blough was the first laker to head out at 7:46 a.m. on Wednesday. Duluth Seaway Port Authority Spokeswoman Adele Yorde said up to eight ships will head out for the lower lakes this week.

“The plan is there’s probably at least two or three left to leave tonight or early in the morning. Then, there’s another couple trickling out throughout the weekend,” she said. “One will be left behind for right now, but the rest will be on their way and getting in line for the Soo Locks opening on Saturday.”

Yorde said more iron ore cargo is expected to move in and out of the Twin Ports. She said about a handful of vessels have been loading pellets in Duluth-Superior, Two Harbors and Silver Bay.

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“With the plants up and running on the Iron Range again, I think we’re going to see a stronger 2017 with regard to iron ore,” she said. “Coal is probably going to stay exactly in the realm that it is. I think we’ve probably hit a zone where they’re going to feed their own power plants with that low-sulfur western coal. But, with the carbon rollbacks in Canada, we’re not going to see those big high numbers that we had seen about 8, 9, 10 years ago.”

The Twin Ports moved around 14.7 million tons of iron ore last year — about a five-and-a-half percent increase from 2015. However, the amount of coal shipped through the ports dropped about 24 percent to roughly 10.2 million tons last year.

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