January 30, 2019

Business North

The Port of Duluth-Superior finished the 2018 shipping season on a strong note, with cargo totaling 35.9 million short tons. That compares with 35.2 million during 2017.

“Shipments of Minnesota iron ore accounted for the lion’s share of tonnage moved through the Port of Duluth-Superior—21.5 million short tons, to be exact,” said Deb DeLuca, Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director. “Iron ore cargoes were up nine percent year-over-year, outpacing the five-year average by 30-plus percent.”

Favorable ice conditions earlier in January allowed the last 1,000-footer to leave Duluth-Superior with pellets just two days before the Soo Locks closed on Jan. 15.

International shipping through the St. Lawrence Seaway had its best year in more than a decade — posting a seven percent increase over the previous season and the most since 2007. Grain exports posted a 20 percent year-over-year increase, virtually mirroring increased grain traffic through the Port of Duluth-Superior in 2018. Coal shipments declined 11.2 percent.