Great Lakes Trader

North Dakota

Great Lakes Trader was built in 2000, is 740 feet long and flies a U.S. flag

Great Republic
Click here for other pages featuring the Great Lakes Trader
Click below to her whistle on October 30, 2011
Above, the Great Lakes Trader departs Duluth on June 2, 2013 after discharging limestone and then loading iron ore pellets.
The barge Great Lakes Trader was built in 2 sections in Mississippi and then combined in New Orleans in 2000. She has a self unloading boom on her deck. She is pushed by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, built in 1998. She usually loads iron ore pellets when she is in Duluth-Superior. The Great Lakes Trader made 17 trips to the port of Duluth-Superior in the 2012-13 season.

Picture below taken October 30, 2011
Picture above taken October 12, 2007; below taken Christmas Day, 2006
Picture below taken December 25, 2005


  1. Establishing my rep as total newbie, I just moved to MN from AZ about a year ago, and I’ve really fallen in love with Great Lakes shipping. I just watched the Great Lakes Trader enter Duluth Harbor, and so I had to do a lot of research from scratch about why she looks so different. Now I know about trunnions and joining tugs to barges. My question, (which might be insensitive, which is why I established my essential ignorance at the beginning), is doesn’t this configuration increase the safety of the crew by a long measure? I can’t help thinking that if the Edmund Fitzgerald had a detachable tug with the crew all contained, wouldn’t that have ended in a different story? I’m assuming of course that the tug-barge connection can be broken while underway, and I’m probably assuming other things that I’m not aware of. Any answers? Thanks for this great website.

  2. Kirsti Kjome says:

    Why are the ships not saluting the lift bridge the past few weeks? I watched the Great Lakes Trader come in today, magnificent sight covered in ice, yet she too did not salute. What’s up with that ??

    • Cedarstrip says:

      I did notice there was no salute this morning when the Great Lakes Trader came in, thought maybe I had missed it (watching online). Did notice the ice build up on the ship and wondered if that was any kind of an issue for a ship like her. I watched a couple of ships come in on Sat. while it was snowing and at least one of them blew its horn. It was different then normal. As I remember, it was three longer blast and two shorter ones. I believe the bridge saluted back with a long blast and two shorter ones. I had the impression the first two from the ship were for the spectators standing in the snow waving.

  3. Jeff Miller says:

    How many tons of pellets does it carry?

  4. With out the tug its 740 feet with tug its 844 feet

    • How can it get through the 15 Seaway locks at 844 feet? If the tug disconnects what would power the 740 feet barge?

      • We used 2 tractor tugs along with our tug. had one tractor tug lock through first then put the barge in with our tug, backed our tug out and put tractor tug in our notch to lock through with barge then had the tractor tugs take the barge out of locks. then lock our tug through and connect back to barge over and over. It was a long couple of days. We could do that at the Soo also with the Mac lock if anything ever happened to the Poe lock, but probably wouldn’t use tugs just winch the barge out with our mooring wires.

  5. Van Enkevort is a typical surname from the Southern part of The Netherlands

  6. Van Enkevort typical surname from the Southern part of The Netherlands

  7. This is the best boat of all. I stayed at the South Pier Inn (next to lift bridge). I will never forget when the boat was turning to go outbound through the bridge, by our balcony. The engines had so so so much power! The boat went by around 1am, so the captain really went full power! Man I love this boat.

  8. Steven Jenderseck says:

    It is considered 2 vessels. An Iron Ore Vessel and it’s tugboat!

  9. Donnie Ray says:

    Just watched this boat come in on the harbor cam website. Unique looking boat. I’m curious if this is considered 1 or 2 vessels? Great Lakes Trader pushed by tug Joyce Van Enkevort. Wonder about length also. I’ve seen 740 ft. and 844 ft.

  10. Tristin (loves ships) says:

    In a way it’s unique 🙂

Leave a Comment