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Great Lakes Shipping Update

Written by Sandy Williams

Coast Guard cutters are still helping iron ore freighters to navigate to their destinations on the Great Lakes. Ore freighters Sam Laud (destination Duluth), Stewart J. Cort and Algoma Discovery (destination Superior), Edwin Gott and Edgar B Speer (destination two Harbors) are in a convoy of five ships underway in Lake Superior at the tip of the Keewenaw Peninsula (as of 4/13/) with escort icebreakers USCGC Mackinaw and CCGC Pierre Radisson. The ships are expected to arrive at their destinations today and tomorrow to load with iron ore pellets according to the Duluth Shipping News by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Another ten ships are due at the three ports between April 15 and April 18 to load iron ore pellets.

The USCG Morro Bay reached Marquette Saturday night followed by the USCG Katmai Bay, Kaye E. Barker and Mesabi Miner. The convoy departed Duluth on Friday.

SMU spoke by email with one of our Steel Market Update Steel 101 workshop attendees who is with Interlake Steamship Company. One of Interlake’s ships, the Stewart J. Cort, is part of the convoy working its way across the lake. Brendan O’Connor, Vice President, Marketing and Marine Traffic at Interlake Steamship Company told us the following:

“We manage the 1000’ M/V STEWART J. CORT, which carries tonnage exclusively for the benefit of ArcelorMittal from head of the lakes (the BN dock) down to Burns Harbor. Interlake and all of the other operators have been significantly limited in our early season operations as a result of the severe and difficult conditions across the lakes, but most significantly on Lake Superior.

“We have loaded and discharged for Indiana Harbor from Escanaba. We have also been engaged in moving ore in Cleveland with shuttles on the Cuyahoga River to the Blast Furnace between Cleveland Bulk Terminal and ArcelorMittal. We have loaded a cargo for Severstal in Dearborn from Escanaba and are presently in transit.”

O’Connor says the fleet is still challenged and are operating by direction from the US Coast Guard with icebreaking assistance. 

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