A world port anchored by domestic trade
Global gateway for bulk and breakbulk cargo
Primarily a natural resources waterway, dry bulk commodities like coal, iron ore, and grain have been the backbone of commerce at the Head of the Lakes for well over a century. There are 20 privately owned and operated docks in the Port of Duluth-Superior that handle bulk cargo, plus a fueling depot, shipyard, and tug/barge services. For more information and a map showing all port facilities, click here.
By tonnage, the "Twin Ports" (Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wis.) comprise the largest port on the Great Lakes and one of the top 25 ports in the U.S., handling an average of 35 million short tons of cargo each year. While bulk cargoes account for over 95 percent of the harbor's commercial traffic, the Port of Duluth-Superior also handles general or breakbulk cargo through the Port Authority's Clure Public Marine Terminal, operated by Lake Superior Warehousing Co., Inc.
Duluth has established a global reputation for seamless transport of heavy lift/dimensional/oversized cargo including steel coil, wood pulp, wind turbine components, oil sands equipment, and other energy-related cargoes. Today, Duluth is recognized as one of the most efficient, centrally located multimodal hubs in North America. Logistics experts rank it among the top ten wind cargo transshipment ports in the U.S. and Canada. In 2011, Duluth was rated the #1 port in all of North America for overall service by the Railway Industrial Clearance Association (RICA).
The Port of Duluth-Superior truly became a world port when the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to deep-draft navigation in 1959. While the Seaway shipping season is limited to nine months, domestic shipping lanes are typically kept open for nearly ten months with the help of tugboats and Coast Guard icebreakers.
The relatively small size of this port allows it to remain operationally flexible. The Port Authority looks forward to new opportunities as markets develop along the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway for slab steel, renewable energy-related cargoes, containerization, and other short sea shipping options. Contact the Port Authority's Director of Business Development for more information.
For a listing of all bulk and breakbulk cargos handled through the Port of Duluth-Superior, click here.