Shipping Decline Forces Layoffs For Nearly 100 Workers

Compared to last year the total amount of cargo entering the Duluth -Superior port has dropped by about 30%.

DULUTH, Minn. – Nearly 100 northland shipping workers are out of a job.

A big drop in business is forcing Pennsylvania-based Key Lakes, which has a facility in Duluth, to layoff dozens of its employees.

Representatives from the company say the pandemic has caused unforeseeable business circumstances and a strong economic decline in the shipping industry.

That’s causing the company to reduce its workforce.

Compared to last year the total amount of cargo entering the Duluth-Superior port has dropped by about 30%.

Iron ore shipments specifically have fallen by 6% and across the Great Lakes, it’s down by nearly thirty percent.

Due to this economic shift, a significant gap between supply and demand continues to grow.

“When mills start idling and there is less demand for steel, its a trickle-down effect. It affects the supply and demand for that product all the way back to the mines itself, said the Duluth Seaway Port Authorities Director of Marketing Jayson Hron.

Duluth city leaders believe Key Lakes choice to lay off employees suggests very few industries are exempt from the financial impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said, “we have seen different sectors of our economy be robust and to be pretty recession-proof. I think this kind of decision shows how deep the economic impacts are reaching.”

Although many businesses associated with the shipping industry are suffering from an economic blow, some cargo is still in high demand.

The need for grain is up by 25% since last year.

Categories: Business, Community, News, News – Latest News