Duluth-Superior Port Earns Pacesetter Award

Updated: May 22, 2019 06:20 PM

The Duluth-Superior Port is being honored for seeing an increase in international cargoes. They've earned the 2018 Pacesetter Award, which was officially handed over Wednesday afternoon at a National Maritime Day celebration.


Craig Middlebrook, from the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp, said, "This doesn't happen by accident. It's the hard work you and your staff do," he told Deb DeLuca as he handed her the plaque.

Duluth-Superior saw an 11.5% season-over-season gain in international tonnage. That was driven primarily by a 19% jump in grain.

DeLuca, Executive Director of the Port Authority, said, "We all work hard together. The working men and women, who do the work, to make the trade happen."

The Port has received this award 17 times! 

Tom Rayburn, from the Lake Carriers' Association, was the keynote speaker after the meal. He shared there's been some important things accomplished in the past year. One was progress on the new Soo lock. He said a group of five captains recently ran through eight scenarios with the Army Corp, to help them finalize design of the important structure.

He added that there are 150,000 jobs related specifically to shipping in the United States. And that half of the tonnage we send from our port ends up in Indiana, at the steel mills.

Rayburn also said that the passage of the Vessel Incident Discharge Act was important, as it will unify the current laws when it comes to ballast and discharge.

Also at the lunch, it was announced that there is now a Ralph Bertz Engineering Memorial Scholarship. Bertz was the former director of engineering at Great Lakes Fleet. The goal is to award a $1000 scholarship each year in Ralph's name to a student at UMD. If you'd like to help endow the scholarship fund, please reach out to Carrie Sutherland, Senior Development Officer, 218-726-6984.

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