Maritime Transportation

The Great Lakes Transportation Corridor, often referred to as the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway, is an important transportation system of lakes, locks, canals and rivers connecting the center of North America manufacturing to the global marketplace.

Efficient transportation systems keep the U.S. competitive in global trade. Our basic labor and manufacturing costs are generally higher than our competitors, but our logistical skills and highly advanced transportation networks reduce overall costs to such an extent that it allows us to compete. continued…


Featured Articles

Fresh Ideas for Recycling and Reusing Dredge MaterialFresh Ideas for Recycling and Reusing Dredge Material
Dredge material from the Duluth Superior Harbor is improving wetlands rather than filling up an expensive containment facility.
2012 Brings Federal Ballast Water Regulations2012 Brings Federal Ballast Water Regulations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took a much-anticipated step toward setting a national standard for the number of organisms allowable in ballast water discharge.
Next to Naught: Cleansing Ballast WaterNext to Naught: Cleansing Ballast Water
An ongoing conversation about installing ballast water treatment systems on board Great Lakes vessels includes a long, hard look into the state of technology and science.
The Seaway Turns 50!The Seaway Turns 50!
The modern Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System has supported maritime trade for 50 years, but there's more to the story. Read about a "remarkable engineering feat and model of binational cooperation."
Ballast Water is Topic of SymposiumBallast Water is Topic of Symposium
Regulating ballast water discharges from ships is getting complicated. A Sea Grant symposium teased apart some of the challenges and opportunities that policies, technology, and the economy are creating for managing ballast water in the Great Lakes.
Steel Corrosion Found in More Northland HarborsSteel Corrosion Found in More Northland Harbors
Deeply pitted steel has been found in several western Lake Superior ports, not only in the Duluth-Superior Harbor.
Freshwater Ballast Testing Facility OpensFreshwater Ballast Testing Facility Opens
Companies can now hook their latest ballast water treatment systems up to the world's first freshwater testing facility for ballast technologies, located on the shores of the Duluth-Superior Harbor.
What's in the Ships?What's in the Ships?
Read about the different cargos and ships that ply Great Lakes waters.
Law Center Identifies Potential Leaks in Michigan Ballast Water LegislationLaw Center Identifies Potential Leaks in Michigan Ballast Water Legislation
Is it constitutional for states to regulate ballast water? Michigan tests the legal system to protect the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes Maritime Transportation System: Critical Energy for ChangeThe Great Lakes Maritime Transportation System: Critical Energy for Change
Take a look at how transportation system issues have changed, and stayed the same, over the past twenty years.
Harbor Corrosion: It's the PitsHarbor Corrosion: It’s the Pits
The rapid aging of steel in the Duluth Superior Harbor puzzles even corrosion experts. Five specialists offer observations and advice to port officials, university and agency staff, and Sea Grant.
From the Great Lakes to the GulfFrom the Great Lakes to the Gulf
In light of the recent ban by Great Lakes governors on water diversions, we thought you’d find this story about a historic plan for a canal between Lake Superior and the St. Croix River of interest.

Climate Change in the Maritime Industry

Protecting Port Assets
Two Sea Grant experts consider how a changing climate could affect the Port of Toledo and the Duluth-Superior Harbor.
Climate Change Focus of
World Maritime Day
World Maritime Day focuses attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment.
Survey Captures Maritime Industry Thoughts on Climate Change
People working in the Great Lakes shipping industry are aware of how climate change predictions might affect their businesses but are not sure how to prepare for an uncertain future.
Great Lakes Shipping: Great Lakes Vessels and Fuel Efficiency
Carrying cargo on water is energy efficient and generates less carbon dioxide than if the same cargo was transported over land.

Maritime Transportation Issues

Ballast and Anti-invasive Species Technologies
Flow through ballast systems and treatable ballast systems are two ways to help control the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Duluth-Superior Port
Protected by a natural sandbar, the Duluth-Superior Harbor holds the largest port on the Great Lakes.

Get a Load of This! Get a Load of This Archive

Taconite
Taconite [view image] is a sedimentary rock mined in Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range for its iron content of approximately 25-30%. It is an important source of raw material for making steel.

Before it is loaded onto bulk cargo vessels, taconite is pelletized through a process pioneered in the early 1900s by University of Minnesota instructor Edward Davis. During this process, the rock is ground into powder and the iron is extracted with magnets. The iron is combined with a binder, such as bentonite clay and limestone, and rolled into pellets approximately one centimeter in diameter. Taconite pellets are about 65% iron.

Although taconite was first shipped in 1895, it didn’t become a significant source of iron until after World War II, when high-grade iron in the U.S. became scarce. Taconite pellets travel by train to Lake Superior ports (Silver Bay, Two Harbors, Duluth-Superior) and are then shipped to steelmaking centers such as Gary, Ind., and Cleveland, Ohio. You might find iron from taconite in automobiles, building supplies, appliances, and in containers.

In 2010, 4.6 million tons of taconite was shipped from the Port of Duluth-Superior. The taconite industry employs about 3000 Minnesotans.

Maritime Transportation:

Contact:

Dale Bergeron
Maritime Extension Educator

This page last modified on October 23, 2013     © 1996 – 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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