Check out the TB2K CHATROOM, open 24/7               Configuring Your Preferences for OPTIMAL Viewing
  To access our Email server, CLICK HERE

  If you are unfamiliar with the Guidelines for Posting on TB2K please read them.      ** LINKS PAGE **



*** Help Support TB2K ***
via mail, at TB2K Fund, P.O. Box 24, Coupland, TX, 78615
or


ECON Cold Snap Hampers Shipping on Great Lakes; vessels huddle at anchor as operators alter plans
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N. Minnesota
    Posts
    10,892

    Cold Snap Hampers Shipping on Great Lakes; vessels huddle at anchor as operators alter plans

    By Brady Slater
    Jan 2, 2018 at 7:18 p.m.

    http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/bus...-huddle-anchor



    Bursting with horsepower to spare in what has been a banner season, the Great Lakes shipping industry slowed against its will in the past week.

    On Lake Superior offshore from Duluth, as many as nine freighters at a time have been anchored and at ease the past several days — mostly waiting turns to load iron ore pellets in the Twin Ports and Two Harbors.

    A rush to haul an estimated 1.5 million tons of iron ore pellets out of the Northland in the last half-month of the shipping season stalled when arctic air enveloped the Midwest, sources said.

    "There's no way that is going to happen now," said Jim Sharrow, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority's director of port planning and resiliency.

    The gears of industry shuddered against the cold, causing dysfunction up and down the supply chain. There are any number of culprits behind the slow loading taking place right now in the Duluth-Superior harbor, Sharrow said, but all of it is traced to the bitter cold.

    "The operators and coast guards and all the service organizations that help to keep ships moving are all very well organized to deal as well as they can with things," Sharrow said, "but they can't make it summer sailing."

    Frozen train brakes impede departures at the mines; thousands of feet of elevated conveyors through the Allouez neighborhood of Superior stiffen up in subzero temperatures; clumps of iron ore pellets bond with ice and cold and no longer move freely; and rows of hatches on lake freighters become welded shut by a foot of ice or more during bitter-cold voyages.

    "The dock managers would know, but we don't call and ask what the problem of the day is," Sharrow said. "The operators are meeting (Tuesday) to reshuffle their vessels after several days of getting held up for one reason or another."

    The busiest dock, BNSF Railway Dock 5 in east Superior, has had as many as seven vessels waiting at a time.

    "We're working to load boats and move them out in the push before the end of the shipping season," BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said in an email response to the News Tribune. "This cold weather can impact equipment and our operations. Our employees prepare for that every winter and work through issues as they come up, often in extreme weather conditions. We'll continue working to load vessels ahead of the season closing."

    The BNSF dock's iron ore pellet cargoes are generally bound for mills outside Chicago or along the south shore of Lake Erie, Sharrow said.

    Had ships been able to move freely in and out of the Twin Ports, most vessels likely would have made one or even two more trips this season before the close of the Soo Locks on Jan. 15 — a move which shuts off Lake Superior from the rest of the lakes for about six weeks of offseason. About 20 cargoes had been planned to leave this month from the Twin Ports and Two Harbors combined, Sharrow said.

    Operators had been building stockpiles of iron ore pellets at the nation's steel mills to keep the mills producing through winter. The industry learned during the abnormally cold spring ice-out of 2014, which lasted into June, how expensive and limited rail shipments of iron ore pellets can be to the mills.

    But operators are now considering adjustments to vessel schedules which seem likely to make multiple trips per ship unrealistic.

    "It's possible a large percentage will have to forgo that and move the cargo in the spring," Sharrow said.

    The slowdown is also being brought on by the rapid accumulation of ice, especially in the narrower rivers and locks connecting the lakes and the working harbors all along the shores.

    According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory on Tuesday, the lakes were almost 20 percent ice-covered — but each lake to varying degrees. The shallowest, Lake Erie, was 40 percent covered, while Lake Superior, the deepest, was only 8 percent covered. Because passage though its waters was less impeded, Lake Superior was soaking up only one of the nine binational coast guard icebreakers currently working alongside an armada of tugboats to keep open channels and harbors throughout the lakes.

    "I compare ice-breaking to plowing the roads," Sharrow said.

    "Bridged" while waiting to reach Park Point on Tuesday before noon, a row of vehicles lined up to let the freighter Thunder Bay pass.

    Her nose a menacing icecap, the 740-foot Canadian freighter moved beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge to the familiar sound of horns followed by laps of water against the hull. She was to discharge salt at Hallett Dock No. 8 in St. Louis Bay, then get in line for Two Harbors and a downbound load of iron ore pellets.

    A Thunder Bay crewmember worked on the aft deck underneath the bridge and wore heavy gloves as he punched a portable keypad.

    A question was shouted from alongside the ship canal: "How are you doing?"

    "I'm fine," said the man with a stiff comb mustache who wore a hard hat over a cap covering his ears. "It's a bit nippy."

    The Thunder Bay drifted by and seemed lucky to do so. It had broken away from the other patient freighters — some having been anchored for days.

    Sharrow ticked through added notes which figured to tickle maritime enthusiasts:

    • The last saltie to leave Duluth, the Beatrix on Dec. 19, was bound for the United Kingdom with a load of spring wheat and originally ticketed to hit the Atlantic Ocean by Christmas. Instead, it's among six ocean-going foreign vessels still caught in the St. Lawrence Seaway System near Montreal. "They're working with them to get them out, but there's a lot of ice in the St. Lawrence River and it's taking a while," Sharrow said.

    • The entire system absorbed a hit when the U.S. Coast Guard pulled an ice-breaking buoy tender, the cutter Hollyhock, from its seven-vessel rotation. The Hollyhock is a sister vessel to the Duluth-based Alder and is home-ported out of Port Huron, Mich. But an engine, extended by repairs previously, finally came due to be overhauled and forced the Coast Guard to pull her in despite appeals from lake carriers, Sharrow said. The Canadian Coast Guard also helps with ice-breaking on the lakes.

    • The freighter G3 Marquis left Two Harbors loaded with iron ore pellets on Tuesday only to come back to anchor in Duluth to wait out a gale warning on Lake Superior. Like the Thunder Bay, the G3 Marquis is among the next generation of efficient Canadian lakers and a 740-footer. Conversely, the 1,000-foot Burns Harbor left Duluth with a load of iron ore pellets on Tuesday in spite of the weather.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    11,501
    I keep thinking we need some kind of portable, directional heater for melting snow, like a heat gun or something, but I have no idea how to build such a mechanism. It'd likely do well on ice, too, should such a thing be possible.

    One of youse enterprising engineers out there figures it out, just remember to cut me in for 10 percent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    State of confusion
    Posts
    2,749
    Quote Originally Posted by Blacknarwhal View Post
    I keep thinking we need some kind of portable, directional heater for melting snow, like a heat gun or something, but I have no idea how to build such a mechanism. It'd likely do well on ice, too, should such a thing be possible.

    One of youse enterprising engineers out there figures it out, just remember to cut me in for 10 percent.
    Flamethrower, portable propane tank. Used for weed burning, pipe thawing, deicing, etc. Try an ag store, Tractor Supply...

    It’s all about the BTUs...
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    Razor sharpening while you wait - Occam
    If it works, it doesn't have enough features. - Windows 10 design philosophy.
    Forget the beer, I'm just here for the doom!
    Humans, just a tool for amino acids to make Swiss watches.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,125
    They act like things like this have never happened before even when it has in their life times. Then is even older remember the great lakes ice cover, heck you can't have temps -55 to -75 and not have water to to ice even on the great lakes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N. Minnesota
    Posts
    10,892
    Manmade BTU's impact are infinitesimal in relation to thousand foot lakers, multiple thousands of feet of ore conveyors, foot thick ice on hatches and decks, hundreds of square miles of lake ice, and frozen locks in -20 to -30 temps. Still, these guys will do the best they can. I expect to see at least one out-of-town ice-breaker coming to assist the Alder by the time the weekend is up. It's gonna have to happen, 'cuz these guys want to make one or two more runs and don't necessarily want to winter over in Duluth.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    11,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Profit of Doom View Post
    Flamethrower, portable propane tank. Used for weed burning, pipe thawing, deicing, etc. Try an ag store, Tractor Supply...

    It’s all about the BTUs...
    I was thinking something less potent. Like hot air instead of straight up fire. Maybe steam.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,556
    As of this afternoon, 9 lakers were anchored offshore and waiting to come in:

    Mesabi Miner
    St. Clair
    Whitefish Bay
    Presque isle
    John G. Munson
    CSL Assiniboine
    Algoma Discovery
    Algoma Equinox
    Thunder Bay (due ashore late evening)
    The country has been conquered and is under occupation. That's a fact. Before you dispute it, gather your facts. Got any?
    "No one in this world, so far as I know, ...has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." H.L. Mencken
    "Oh, the Drama!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    51,198
    I'm thinking the Neon Bay should be on the way, as about the closest available.


    (OK she was christened NEAH BAY, but well....)
    Mookie War Creed
    "I am the Sword of my Family and Shield of my Nation. If sent, I will crush everything you have built, burn all that you love, and kill every one of you."
    Welcome to dar al harab -dar al kufre.


    Gentle reminder: It is entirely possible to think that generalizations are true and to judge each real live person you meet as an individual

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N. Minnesota
    Posts
    10,892
    According to this position map, the Bristol Bay and the Mackinaw are at the Sault.

    There is still sure a lot of traffic out there.

    http://www.duluthharborcam.com/p/marine-trafic.html

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    OK
    Posts
    25,237
    "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" - Gordon Lightfoot



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vST6hVRj2A
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    State of confusion
    Posts
    2,749
    “don't necessarily want to winter over in Duluth.”
    Would anybody want to winter over in Duluth?
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    Razor sharpening while you wait - Occam
    If it works, it doesn't have enough features. - Windows 10 design philosophy.
    Forget the beer, I'm just here for the doom!
    Humans, just a tool for amino acids to make Swiss watches.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    27,618
    Does this mean Spring will bring those big "ice floe" floods to those living along the shore, as it did a few years ago?
    Be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled…Let no man deceive you by any means…..
    they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved….for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie….
    Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    NW WI
    Posts
    3,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Profit of Doom View Post
    “don't necessarily want to winter over in Duluth.”
    Would anybody want to winter over in Duluth?
    Cheap shot. We love it up here.
    GGK
    "You want your bubbles in your champagne glass , not in your portfolio. "
    THE DAILY PFENING

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N. Minnesota
    Posts
    10,892
    Quote Originally Posted by Profit of Doom View Post
    “don't necessarily want to winter over in Duluth.”
    Would anybody want to winter over in Duluth?
    It depends. The yards in Duluth/Superior do a lot of repair/maintenance/rebuilds over the winter. These big guys do have to lay over somewhere for a couple months, but it all comes down to economics and being able to get out of the chute early in the spring.

    As for spending the winter up here generally? It isn't easy, but has it's rewards. Breathtakingly beautiful, solitude, wild space, wildlife, and outdoor activities every way you turn, enough space to be and do what you want, the people are good, the economy is good, education and health care is excellent. Quality of life means a lot. It does takes grit, and a damned dark sense of humor sometimes though.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N. Minnesota
    Posts
    10,892
    Quote Originally Posted by Countrymouse View Post
    Does this mean Spring will bring those big "ice floe" floods to those living along the shore, as it did a few years ago?

    I think those were on the inland lakes (Mille Lacs if I recall, was in the news) but it all depends on the spring winds.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In A Basket Of Deplorables
    Posts
    9,011
    Quote Originally Posted by Blacknarwhal View Post
    I was thinking something less potent. Like hot air instead of straight up fire. Maybe steam.
    The main problem here is getting the ships from one place to another, and freeing up iced-over mechanical systems. As such, breaking the ice up works just as well. Rather than try to melt the ice, which requires huge amounts of thermal energy, why not use mechanical energy to shake the ice apart? A powerful sonic cannon would probably be more useful and easier to develop.
    E Deploribus Unum

    Oderint dum metuant

    Every day is a JDAM day

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts


NOTICE: Timebomb2000 is an Internet forum for discussion of world events and personal disaster preparation. Membership is by request only. The opinions posted do not necessarily represent those of TB2K Incorporated (the owner of this website), the staff or site host. Responsibility for the content of all posts rests solely with the Member making them. Neither TB2K Inc, the Staff nor the site host shall be liable for any content.

All original member content posted on this forum becomes the property of TB2K Inc. for archival and display purposes on the Timebomb2000 website venue. Said content may be removed or edited at staff discretion. The original authors retain all rights to their material outside of the Timebomb2000.com website venue. Publication of any original material from Timebomb2000.com on other websites or venues without permission from TB2K Inc. or the original author is expressly forbidden.



"Timebomb2000", "TB2K" and "Watching the World Tick Away" are Service Mark℠ TB2K, Inc. All Rights Reserved.