Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Soo Locks opens up 2021 shipping season early

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit Districts Post|
Courtesy of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

The Soo Locks opened Wednesday, marking the start of the 2021 Great Lakes shipping season, however this year, they are opening earlier than normal.

Usually the locks open at midnight on March 25th, but the shipping industry got a head-start with a Noon opening Wednesday.

Last year traffic was way down because demand for commodities like iron ore slumped due to the pandemic.

But Kevin Sprague with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says early signs point to an uptick in shipping this year.

“We have 12 ships either onsite or inbound in the St. Mary’s River to lock through today, so that says a lot. Season openers generally have a few ships but not that many.”

Sprague says almost all of the iron ore mined in the U.S. comes through the Soo Locks.