Season's First 'Saltie' Calls Port of Duluth-Superior

April 1, 2024

(Photo: Port of Duluth-Superior)
(Photo: Port of Duluth-Superior)

The first "saltie" of the 2024 Great Lakes shipping season entered the Port of Duluth-Superior on Monday,

Oceangoing vessels that visit the Great Lakes are called "salties".

This year, the first to call the Port of Duluth-Superior is the Portuguese-flagged Barbro G, a 623-foot bulk carrier operated by Sweden’s Brochart KB, which completed the season’s first full transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway en route to the Great Lakes’ westernmost port.

By tradition, this first full transit from the Atlantic Ocean marks the annual opening of the Duluth-Superior Harbor, although the interlake navigation season began with the Poe Lock opening on March 22.

After arriving under Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge at 11:44 a.m., Barbro G sailed to the Ceres/Riverland Ag terminal on Rice’s Point to load approximately 22,000 short tons of durum wheat destined for Algeria.

Colley Motorships (Montréal) and Guthrie-Hubner Inc. (Duluth-Superior) are the vessel agents for Barbro G, which is captained by Borys Smyrnov of Ukraine.

“Despite our recent snowstorm, arrival of the season’s first full Seaway transit is a true sign of spring and a reminder of the economic impact these great ships help deliver to our region,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “We’re excited to welcome Barbro G and share our Midwestern wheat cargo with the world via the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System.”

The latest arrival of the Port of Duluth-Superior’s first saltie was May 7, 2014 (Diana). The earliest was March 28, 2023 (Federal Dart). Only once previously has the season’s first saltie arrived on April Fools’ Day: April 1, 1995 (Argosy). It was, at the time, the port’s earliest-arriving oceangoing vessel ever.

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