2012 Shipping Season Shaping up to be Strongest in Two Years

By KBJR News 1

2012 Shipping Season Shaping up to be Strongest in Two Years

November 5, 2012 Updated Nov 5, 2012 at 6:29 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Officials are expecting to have moved 38 million short tons, or 76 billion pounds, of cargo before this shipping season wraps up for the winter.

It all seems to be good news for the Iron Range, too, as iron ore shipping--an economic mainstay for the Northland--has been strong and steady. Currently most iron ore has made it down the Saint Lawrence Seaway and is being readied to be turned into steel.

Most limestone shipments--another mainstay--have also made their way into the Duluth Harbor, and are being readied to ship up to the Iron Range.

Breakbulk cargo shipments, such as wind turbines, have also experienced a big boom, as the tax production credits for those are up this year.

While Super Storm Sandy did bring shipping to a virtual halt on the Great Lakes last Tuesday, officials say the loss of time will most likely be made up before winter hits.

"With the season, if we're looking at a winter like we had last year, we should be able to have those fleets make up those runs by the end of the year," said Port Authority Public Relations Manager Adele Yorde.

Yorde added that, with meteorological advancements being what they are today, ship Captains were able to plan for the severe weather with time to spare.

It's not all good when it comes to grain shipments, however.

Yorde says the worldwide grain supply is up, which means there hasn't been a high demand for our grain. So, numbers are down significantly, and that means less international traffic in the Duluth Harbor.