UAL Fortitude sails into Duluth on Saturday, start of new regular service

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On a windy, Saturday morning, the UAL Fortitude arrived under the Aerial Lift Bridge.

She carried containers filled with minerals, a power generation station, and an innovative agricultural machine, according to the port.

The Fortitude’s arrival is significant, because she’s the first of a regular liner service from overseas.

After the import cargo is unloaded, then the team from Duluth Cargo Connect will load the UAL Fortitude with containerized cargoes and machinery for export to Europe. This will complete the Antwerp-Duluth loop that Spliethoff is providing with this new regular (monthly) trans-Atlantic liner service in collaboration with Duluth Cargo Connect.

The journey takes about 20-25 days.

This is the first call at Duluth for that new liner service, and the first time in decades that the Port of Duluth-Superior will feature a regular liner service to Europe.

Port leaders say it will reduce costs to importers and exporters located in our region and well beyond, providing efficient transit and allowing “parceling” of the vessel, which means that it can be filled with mixed cargoes from multiple shippers with no minimal tonnage requirement.

Shippers don’t need to commit to filling an entire ship to get their goods to market. That makes is more convenient and affordable for shippers.

“Not only does this new service provide an efficient, consistent import-export option between Antwerp and Duluth, it also significantly reduces carbon emissions and land-based congestion, so this is also a win from an environmental standpoint,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “It expands the viability of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System as a routing alternative for moving cargoes into and out of the Upper Midwest and far beyond.”

The port worked to resume container shipping, and it began again last May.