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Conquest first visitor for October

By Sam Hankinson/Ships Log • Oct 4, 2017 at 2:00 PM

All four of our active docks received a cargo in the last week of September and into October.

On Sept. 27, Pere Marquette Shipping’s tug/barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 came in with a load of stone for Verplank’s.

A little after noon Saturday, Grand River Navigation’s motor vessel Manitowoc delivered a load of coal to the Board of Light & Power plant on Harbor Island.

As the Manitowoc was unloading, the Wilfred Sykes arrived offshore with a load of slag for Meekoff’s D&M. The Sykes had to wait for the Manitowoc to finish unloading before it could come in. Due to dock spaces, both ships could not occupy Harbor Island at the same time.

The Manitowoc was done unloading after dark and backed out, and the Sykes came in. The Sykes unloaded at D&M and was done by 2 a.m.

On Monday morning, Port City’s tug/barge Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest came in with a load of cement for the terminal in Ferrysburg. The Conquest was the first ship for the month of October.

Through the month of September, 13 cargoes were received, adding to the yearly total of 78. This is a 13 percent increase when compared with last year, and a 35 percent increase when compared with the port’s five-year average.

After a slow start to the season, we have experienced three straight months with growth, which is an encouraging sign.

More American-flagged ships visit than Canadian, and our current ratio is roughly one Canadian visitor for every nine American visitors.

In all, 16 different ships have visited so far this year. Four of them were Canadian-flagged and the other 12 were American-flagged. The Wilfred Sykes is the most frequent visitor with 15, followed by the Pere Marquette 41 with 12 and the St. Marys Conquest with 10. The Cuyahoga is our most frequent Canadian visitor with four.

It may be a slow week, but the Wilfred Sykes and Kaye E. Barker are scheduled for Verplank’s soon.

We’re approaching that time of the year when weather starts to be a big factor for when ships come in, so being able to forecast future arrivals is going to get tricky.

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