Season ends with slight increase in Great Lakes cargoThe Saginaw, a 639-foot self-unloading bulk carrier, cleared the Poe Lock at midnight Wednesday bringing the 2011 navigation season to an end.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
The Saginaw, a 639-foot self-unloading bulk carrier, cleared the Poe Lock at midnight Wednesday bringing the 2011 navigation season to an end.
The Poe stayed open three days past the traditional closing date of the navigation season at the request of the shipping industry, allowing the
movement of more than 400,000 tons of additional cargo. The locks are scheduled to re-open March 25.
During the 2011 navigation season, 4,040 cargo vessels passed through the Soo Locks carrying almost 75 million tons of iron ore, coal, grain and other commodities, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Throughout the Great Lakes, U.S.-flag lakers carried 93.8 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in 2011, an increase of 5.75 percent compared to 2010. The 2011 tonnage was slightly below the fleet’s five-year average, according to data from the Lake Carriers’ Association. Iron ore outperformed the five-year average by 12.7 percent, but coal tonnages were off 14 percent from the five-year average.