Great Lakes freighter company prepping all 9 ships for 2021 season

FILE - The James R Barker, a 1000-foot freighter, traverses the Muskegon Channel with a coal shipment in 2015. The laker is one of nine that the Interlake Steamship Company is prepping for the 2021 shipping season. (Mischa Lopiano | MLive.com)

Posted on March 22, 2021

The Interlake Steamship Company is prepping its entire fleet of nine freighters for the 2021 shipping season as the Soo Locks prepares to reopen – signaling the start of the season – later this month.

The fact that none of the big lakers are sitting out the season is a good sign for the economy, maritime watchers are saying. The company’s self-unloading bulk carriers haul goods throughout the Great Lakes and beyond.

The Ohio-based, family-owned company is one of the largest U.S.-flagged fleets operating on the Great Lakes. It carries about 20 million tons of bulk cargo annually. Cargoes include iron ore, low-sulfur coal, grain and limestone.

“The 2021-2022 shipping season is upon us as our mariners start reporting to work this week to begin fitting out our fleet of nine working freighters,” the company said in an announcement this week.

The Soo Locks will reopen to ships on March 25 after a roughly 10-week closure for maintenance. While the locks were closed, no ships could move between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

Source

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