Peter Rönna here with wind turbine parts

The Peter Rönna arrived this morning (above) on her first visit to the Twin Ports. She brought the 15th shipment of wind turbine parts to come here by ship for Minnesota Power. They loaded the cargo in Brande, Denmark, where the equipment is manufactured by Siemens. After the equipment is discharged here, trucks will take the over 2 dozen pieces to the Bison Wind Energy Center near New Salem, N.D. As she moved up the Duluth harbor, she was greeted by the departing Roger Blough, going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets after some repairs were made at Fraser Shipyards.


  1. Walt Jaap says:

    Container logistics has a lot to do with time & costs. For example, in the trade from Asia & the western Pacific, a container will reach a destination in middle USA much quicker if it is unloaded at a west coast port & loaded on a rail car versus going through the Panama Canal and off loaded in Houston, New Orleans, or Savannah. In some regard the railroads (BNSF, CN, and SP) control the game as they have a good infrastructure for shipping containers efficiently.

    I live in Tampa Bay, our port wants to grow container business, but it will be challenging, our railroad infrastructure is not competitive with big railroads that dominate the business. We can have niche (small ships) business with routes to the Caribbean & Central America. But we will be competing with Port Everglades, Miami, and Palm Beach, the trade will grow slowly; the hope is when Cuba becomes open, it will be a good thing for business.

  2. Jd and Ed I thought you might enjoy this article . I’m leery of copying passages but the article gives a brief explanation as to why container vessels aren’t common on the Lakes (size related).

    • From the look of things it may be changing, it surely makes sense to load or unload a container in Cleveland or Detroit or Chicago close to where it will be used in a plant and hauled by truck shorter distance. Loaded on rail shipped to rail yard near where it is to get used then loaded on a truck and delivered. Don’t get me wrong I am a former OTR trucking driver/owner, and support the industry but it seems more efficient to move the larger number at one time and handle the container less times.

  3. Ed Woods says:

    jdwold raises an interesting question: Why no container traffic in Duluth??….. Could it be that time sensitive Boxes come in to an Atlantic or Pacific Port and move by Rail to their destination, in a faster time frame than coming to a Lake port to offload??….. Food for Thought.

  4. Its good to see the twin ports bustling, salt coming in for the coming winter roads in MN, WI, and ND. Wind generators from a German company built in Denmark. I know we ship blades made in ND all over out of the port. See limestone coming in to Holcem and cement to Le Farge, and cement going out of Holcem to Canada. Western coal to a couple power plants in Nova Scotia, and possibly other spots in Canada, and of course the thousand footers to Minnesota power and power plants in Michigan both UP and lower Michigan. Iron ore going all over the region both US and Canadian mills. The only thing I do not see is a bunch of containers getting off loaded other than possibly parts for windmills.

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