Duluth seaway ports expand maritime shipment capabilities

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Officials at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority announced Thursday morning that the city’s Clure Public Marine Terminal can now handle much larger volumes of international shipping containers coming by water.

This local increase has potential to relieve some congestion at coastal ports that has caused supply chain issues in stores. A capability that president of Duluth Cargo Connect, Jonathan Lamb, says will bring more goods to the region at a better pace.

"We have an expanded capability to handle significantly more container traffic to arrive by vessel than we have in the past. I think it provides another level of flexibility for shippers to use a different mode of transportation in and out," said Lamb. "Historically, the Great Lakes haven’t been a lane for containers to move by water in any significance."

Duluth is now one of two ports able to recieve this size of shipments on the Great lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway, the other being Cleveland, Ohio.

These larger shipments also carrying with them the potential to elevate local business, according to executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Deb DeLuca.

"It’s a great opportunity for regional industries because now they have yet another option for moving goods into and out of the mid-point of the North American continent."

And with these new volume levels, the cargo options are nearly endless.

"Now our capability really allows us to bring it containers with anything," said Lamb. "Whether it’s food, whether it’s retail goods or raw materials for manufacturing. Whatever you can think of, there’s potential now for that to come by container, by water, to us."

These new shipments are expected to come to Duluth-Superior ports at the start of next year’s Seaway season.