Season 2017 begins tomorrow

2017 Commercial Shipping Season gets underway Wednesday in Port of Duluth-Superior, from Duluth Seaway Port Authority


240802-1-096Duluth, Minn., USA (March 21, 2017)— The first U.S.-flag lakers are expected to depart the Port of Duluth-Superior tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22, signaling the start of the 2017 commercial shipping season at this, the farthest inland port on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system.

Exact times are difficult to pinpoint during start-up (i.e. ‘fit-out,’ in industry terms), but the first departure may very well take place while most folks are still asleep! The Roger Blough is expected to leave its berth at the Clure Public Marine Terminal at first light Wednesday and depart beneath Duluth’s famed Aerial 210827-113Bridge en route to the CN Docks in Two Harbors to load iron ore. After fueling late afternoon/early evening, another Great Lakes Fleet vessel, the Philip R. Clarke, will also head to Two Harbors to take on its first cargo of the season. Both vessels, with deliveries to make to steel mills on the Lower Lakes, will proceed across Lake Superior toward Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to await the opening of the Soo Locks at 12:01 a.m. on Sat., March 25. The Blough is expected to be the lead ship downbound as she was in 2016.
2007Sep16_2810PRODInterlake’s flagship, the 1013.5-ft Paul R. Tregurtha, wintered at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal and is scheduled to load coal there Wednesday, then move to the Clure Terminal for final preparations before leaving for Silver Bay tomorrow night/early Thursday. After discharge, that vessel will return to Superior to load coal for its first inter-lake delivery to the St. Clair Power Plant in Michigan.

Two more Interlake Steamship Co. freighters that wintered in the Twin Ports – the Lee A. Tregurtha and the Herbert C. Jackson – are expected to depart late Wednesday, as well. The Lee A. is in position to leave Fraser Shipyards first, sometime midday. Both vessels will stop to fuel at the Calumet dock in Duluth before heading out to Two Harbors and Silver Bay, respectively, to load iron ore.

The Burns Harbor is due to move from its layup berth to the BNSF Railway Dock to load iron ore Wednesday before departing via the Superior Entry. American Century is set to leave Thursday to load in Silver Bay while fleet mate, the American Spirit, is expected to move to the CN Duluth Dock to load iron ore over the weekend before getting underway.

NOTE: All vessel departure/arrival times are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

With the Soo Locks opening Saturday and virtually ice-free conditions across the Lakes, Port of Duluth-Superior could see its first arrival from the Soo on Sunday, most likely the Stewart J. Cort, the James R. Barker or the Cason J. Callaway, but that’s still too close to call. For updates, Watch real-time transits at or or on mobile devices with Marine Traffic or Ship Finder apps.

Philip R. Clarke departs after 19th trip here

The Philip R. Clarke departed Duluth late morning on Saturday, November 19, 2016. While here, she discharged limestone at the Hallett #5 dock and then went next door to load  iron ore pellets at the CN dock. She loaded fuel on her arrival. This was her 19th trip here this season; she made 17 visits last year. During the year, she loads limestone at, among other ports, Calcite and Stoneport, both in Michigan and discharges it at Detroit, Duluth, Gary  and Toledo. She loads iron ore pellets at both the CN docks in Duluth and Two Harbors, delivering that cargo to Gary. She was built by the American Ship Building Company in 1952 at Lorain, one of three built for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. The others were the Arthur M. Anderson and the Cason J. Callaway, both of which visit Duluth often during the year.

Click pic below to see new Clarke updates


3 arrivals on November 7, 2014

The Philip R. Clarke, James R. Barker and CSL Niagara came into port under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Friday afternoon, November 7, 2014.

Watch the Clarke leave on October 1, 2014

After discharging a cargo of limestone at the Hallett #5 dock, and fueling at the Calumet Fuel Dock, the Philip R. Clarke departed Duluth for Two Harbors where she will load iron ore pellets.

Clarke leaves Duluth for Two Harbors

The Philip R Clarke departed Duluth on Friday morning, December 6, 2013 after discharging limestone at the Hallett Dock that she loaded in Calcite, Michigan. She went up to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets for the lower lakes.

Clarke in at sunset, out at noon

The Philip R. Clarke arrived on Thursday evening, June 13, 2013 at 8:20 in the evening. She brought limestone in (above) and took iron ore pellets out (below). I was on the Vista Star in the picture below when we spotted the Clarke departing under the Blatnik Bridge on Friday around 1 pm.

Philip R. Clarke arriving Duluth

Three thousand footers will load about 192,000 tons of western coal for lower lakes electrical power stations today. The Philip R. Clarke, seen above arriving in Duluth last November, will arrive today with a cargo of eastern coal loaded at Ashtabula. It will discharge the coal at the CLM Corporation in Superior. They operate seven lime kilns there and three of them require the eastern coal that the Clarke will be discharging. Periodically, a boat will load western coal at Midwest Energy and move it a mile or so to the CLM plant to fire up the other four kilns. Photo taken on November 22,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-14-2008

Philip R. Clarke to bring limestone

We are nearing the end of the line of boats arriving to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources. The James R. Barker was expected in last night. It will follow the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. which was expected to depart late last night. The American Integrity was expected in early this morning and it will follow the Barker, which is expected to depart this morning. Somewhere in there, the Canadian Olympic will arrive but it has to discharge a cargo of salt before getting to Midwest, so that should make it the end of the current line of boats, although there really isn’t any end of the line at Midwest until next January when the ice arrives. Not mentioned so far is the Philip R. Clarke, seen above on November 22, 2007. It will bring limestone in today.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-23-2008

Philip R. Clarke goes to Two Harbors

The Philip R. Clarke loaded limestone in Cedarville, Michigan and should be here later today to discharge that cargo before going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Above, it is seen departing Duluth last week on May 14th also going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Last week’s pellets were discharged in Detroit before the boat went over to Cedarville to pick up the limestone it will bring here today.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-20-2008

Philip R. Clarke arrives in cold

The Philip R. Clarke arrived in Duluth just before noon on Monday (above) and was greeted by a small but hearty group of souls who almost looked like they were standing in formation. It came in light (no cargo) to load taconite for Conneaut, Ohio and probably departed the port late Monday night. We expect 6 arrivals today, half loading coal and the other half taconite. Both cargos have been first in tonnage over the last 5 years. Last year, the port saw 19 million tons of coal passing through the port and 17 million tons of taconite. Photo taken on December 31,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-01-2008