First 'saltie' of season arrives under Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge

Apr. 2—DULUTH — The Barbro G was the first oceangoing vessel of the 2024 maritime shipping season to enter the Port of Duluth-Superior on Monday, April 1, crossing under the Aerial Lift Bridge at 11:44 a.m.

The Portuguese-flagged 623-foot bulk carrier, operated by Sweden's Brochart KB, earned the First Ship Award from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority for completing the season's first full transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway en route to the Great Lakes' westernmost port.

By tradition, this first arrival of a saltwater ship 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.

The

Barbro G

motored to the Ceres/Riverland Ag terminal on Rice's Point to load approximately 22,000 short tons of durum wheat destined for Algeria.

"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," Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said in a statement.

"We're excited to welcome Barbro G and share our Midwestern wheat cargo with the world via the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System."

On Tuesday, the Port Authority will announce the winner of the annual

first ship contest

from among nearly 8,000 entrants who tried to guess the date and time of the first saltie (ocean-going ship) passing under the Lift Bridge.

The April 1 first saltie arrival was just four days later than the

all-time earliest first ship, set March 28, 2023.