First Saltie Of The 2023 Shipping Season Arrives In The Twin Ports

DULUTH, Minn. — When the Federal Dart cruised under the Aerial Lift Bridge at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, it became the earliest Saltie ever to arrive at the start of a new shipping season.

It beats the previous record by 2 days which was March 30, 2013.

Once the Soo Locks opened last Saturday, Lake Superior and the port of Duluth-Superior were open to oceangoing vessels.

Just 2 days later on Monday at around 12:30 p.m., the Federal Dart passed through the Soo Locks destined for Duluth. The ship, which sails under the Marshall Islands flag, brought in a load of cement from Turkey.

The ship also brought in dozens of onlookers, including one person who told us she drove 7 hours to watch the ship come in.

Last year, the Aerial Lift Bridge didn’t go up for the first Saltie until April 13. Considering this is the earliest a Saltie has ever arrived in the Twin Ports, the winner of the 40th annual First Ship Contest will be justified in guessing an early arrival time and be notified soon.

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