Superior docks boost shipping levels

Minnesota State Roundup

Published November 1, 2002  | November 2002 issue

After a slow year in 2001, two Duluth-Superior docks are reporting record levels of iron ore and coal shipments through July, raising overall tonnage for the season.

Duluth-Superior's total iron ore shipments through July were 7.9 million tons, an 18 percent increase over 1991's high of 6.9 million tons. Recording its third best month ever, Superior's Burlington Northern Santa Fe taconite facility handled more than 1.6 million metric tons of iron ore in July—nearly breaking a dock record set in 1991. Burlington Northern's increase was due largely to moving the steelmaking assets of the former LTV Steel Corp. to blast furnace locations elsewhere.

July coal shipments were also above last year's figures. The Midwest Energy Resources Co. terminal in Superior alone moved more than 2.3 million metric tons, breaking a monthly record.

While overall coal shipments were about even with last year, the combined July iron ore and coal shipments raised the port's total volume to 17.7 metric tons, 5 percent over 2001.

Kathy Cobb