This ice-covered, 1,000-foot freighter will hibernate in the Twin Ports


If you couldn't tell by the ice on the ships – it's winter time on the Great Lakes.

The American Integrity became the first ship to enter winter layup in the Port of Duluth-Superior Wednesday, according to Duluth Shipping News.

The 1,000-foot freighter that hauls coal for the American Steamship Company is one of seven ships expected to spend the winter in the Twin Ports this year, Duluth Shipping News notes.

The rest of the ships are expected to arrive next week, Duluth Seaway Port Authority spokeswoman Adele Yorde told the Duluth News Tribune.

While in winter layup, the ships will be readied for the 2015 shipping season. U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators plan to spend $75 million preparing the ships for spring, according to the Lake Carriers' Association (LCA).

A significant portion of that is expected to be spent in the Twin Ports, Northland's NewsCenter reports. Fraser Shipyards, where some of the vessels will spend the winter, plans to double its employees to handle winter repairs for the self-unloading ships.

Other vessels will be docked at the Enbridge and Midwest Energy docks until the Soo Locks – which close Jan. 15 – reopen March 25, the Duluth News Tribune says. The next time the ships leave the port, they'll be carrying the first cargo of the 2015 shipping season.

“Whoever lays up at the coal dock in Superior will leave with a load of coal,” Yorde told the Duluth News Tribune. “The others may load iron ore or coal or might even leave here for Two Harbors for a load of iron ore there.”

The "beginning of the end" to the 2014 shipping season began Dec. 20, when the last "saltie" (a ship headed for the ocean) left the Twin Ports, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said.

Last year's shipping season was a rough one. The deep freeze on the Great Lakes cost the economy more than $700 million and nearly 4,000 jobs, the LCA said this week.

It also forced vessel operators to spend an unexpected $6 million last spring to repair ice damage on their ships – that's why the LCA is requesting additional ice breaking fleets for 2015.

Next Up

La Velle E. Neal III

Twins reporter La Velle E. Neal III to become Star Tribune sports columnist

The long-serving Twins reporter has received a promotion.


State Patrol investigating fatal crash near Duluth

The crash was reported around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.

eden prairie police squad car

Carjacking reported outside shopping center in Eden Prairie

One of the suspects reportedly displayed a weapon.

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.


Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.


Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.