Duluth-Superior shipping season winds to a close; 7 lakers to be in Port for winter layup

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Duluth, Minn., U.S.A. (1/12/16) – The Port of Duluth-Superior is welcoming seven ships for winter layup this year. In fact, the Indiana Harbor laid up early (on Nov. 3) and a major repowering project is already underway at Fraser Shipyards on the Herbert C. Jackson, in dry dock since early December.

The Soo Locks (at Sault Ste. Marie) are set to close at midnight on Friday, Jan. 15. By then, four more wintering vessels are expected to have arrived in the Twin Ports beginning Thursday morning with the anticipated arrival of the Edwin H. Gott, followed Friday or later by the American Century, the Kaye E. Barker and the Philip R. Clarke. We say “expected” to arrive as transit times vary with wind and weather.  

Boatwatchers will have to wait just a little longer for the arrival of the very last laker – the Paul R. Tregurtha – as the thousand-footer is making one or two late season, intra-lake deliveries of iron ore. Her arrival beneath the Aerial Bridge next week will officially mark the end of the 2015 Great Lakes shipping season here in the Twin Ports.  [Note: Last ‘saltie’ of the season, Federal Bering, departed Duluth on Dec. 18; the St. Lawrence Seaway closed on Dec. 31.]

In all, seven (7) Great Lakes freighters will be wintering in the Twin Ports this year: 

VESSEL                                  Location                            ARRIVAL

Indiana Harbor                         Enbridge Dock                          11/03/15

Herbert C. Jackson                   Fraser Shipyards                       12/11/15

Kaye E. Barker                         Fraser Shipyards

Edwin H. Gott                           Port Terminal Berth 1

Philip R. Clarke                        Port Terminal Berth 4

American Century                     Port Terminal Berth 6/7

Paul R. Tregurtha                     Midwest Energy Resources Co.

While ships’ crews will take the next few, well-deserved weeks off, there is no real ‘down time’ on the waterfront. Hundreds of workers – engineers, welders, pipefitters, mechanics, electricians and others –will spend the next eight weeks doing heavy-duty maintenance and repair work so these vessels are ready to sail when the Soo Locks reopen on March 25 and the 2016 Great Lakes-Seaway shipping season gets underway.

Jackson’s conversion is part of $110 million that U.S. vessel operators will spend on maintaining/modernizing ships during this offseason, according to Lake Carriers’ Association. Repairs and maintenance work will constitute $60 million of that total while the rest will be taken up by special project work, such as repowering or installing exhaust scrubbers.

NOTES:  Vessel arrival times are estimates and may change without notice.

For more information: Adele Yorde, PR Director, (218) 727-8525 or (218) 390-6973

Monthly TONNAGE reports, plus historical tonnage figures
available online:

Return to all news.