If you look out onto Lake Huron or the deep blue waters of the St. Clair River this time of year, it may seem strange to think the waters are a superhighway for a sizable amount of the world’s goods and raw materials. With colder weather settling in, though, many ships are making headway before the roadway freezes up. President of the Great Lakes Pilots Dan Gallagher said, “Freighter traffic on the Great Lakes is still going strong this time of year.” Normally the freighter season begins around the third week in March and ends the first week in January. Gallagher, who is also the Vice-President of the American Pilots Association, said his office is busy this time of year with outbound vessels carrying grain harvested around the region.
According to Captain Gallagher, not as much steel came through the area this year, but there was a rise in the amount of petroleum that was transported. His office is contacted to guide any foreign vessel that plans to make port in a U.S. location in the Great Lakes region. He said it was an unusual season due to the higher than normal number of cruise ships that passed through the area. Looking forward, Gallagher said some of the cruise companies have spoken of plans for expansion in the Great Lakes Region, though he couldn’t relay specifics.
Reporting for WGRT, I’m Karly Hurley.