• ITVI.USA
    15,859.850
    -49.550
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.773
    -0.003
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.460
    -0.150
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,864.700
    -50.600
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,859.850
    -49.550
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.773
    -0.003
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.460
    -0.150
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,864.700
    -50.600
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American Shipper

Great Lakes shipping season commences operations

The 2017 Great Lakes Shipping Season officially kicked off Tuesday, while the Soo Locks in Saulte Ste. Marie, Mich. are scheduled to open March 25.

   The 2017 Great Lakes shipping season began yesterday with the first voyage of the season being the Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder out of Erie, Penn., the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) said.
   The tug/barge unit is currently sailing to Cleveland to begin the shuttle of iron ore from the Cleveland Bulk Terminal to the ArcelorMittal steel mill on the Cuyahoga River. The vessel will load approximately 15,000 tons of iron ore mined from Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range.
   The Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest will be the second vessel to kick off the season, setting sail later this week from Charlevoix, Mich. to Milwaukee, Wis. with 8,000 tons of cement.
   In the western part of the region, the coal trade will resume later this month when the Paul R. Tregurtha delivers 62,000 tons from Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in Wisconsin to Silver Bay, Minn. 
   On March 25, the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. will reopen, connecting Lake Superior to the lower four Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.
   On average, more than 80 million tons of cargo transits through the Soo Locks each season. Roughly 80 percent of that cargo transits through the Poe Lock, the largest chamber at “The Soo.”
   “Reliance on a single Poe-sized lock at The Soo continues to threaten the U.S. economy,” the LCA said. “More than 90 percent of the cargo U.S.-flag lakers move through the Soo Locks transits the Poe Lock.”
   The LCA said that according to a 2016 study by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a six-month closure for repairs on the Poe Lock could halt steel production and heavy manufacturing, and leave 11 million Americans unemployed.
   While a second Poe-sized lock has been authorized, construction has been stalled due to a flawed analysis on the part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the LCA said. The reexamination and subsequent report is due at the end of the year.
   In addition to lock concerns, ice formations have given shippers reason to request more icebreakers. The LCA argued the U.S. Coast Guard is in need of a second heavy icebreaker, given the cargo delays, repair expenses, and economic activity decreases in the winters of 2013-2015.
   Last season’s cargo levels for the Great Lakes exceeded 83 million tons, with iron ore being the primary cargo. Limestone, steel production, coal, cement, salt, sand and grain comprise the other major types of cargo transported through the Great Lakes.

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