December 22 - This weekend signalled the end of the 2014 shipping season at the Port of Duluth-Superior as the last oceangoing vessel departed from the Great Lakes gateway.

Combi Lift's heavy lift vessel Palmerton arrived at the port's Clure Public Marine Terminal last week to discharge project cargo. HLPFI reported on December 9 that the vessel had arrived at the port of Lake Erie to discharge a 536-tonne cold box for BNSF Logistics.

The Antigua-flagged Combi Lift vessel will be the last "saltie" of 2014 to make the 2,342 mile transit of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System.

Both the Welland Canal, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and the locks on the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway are scheduled to close on December 31.

"By the time 2014 ends, we will have welcomed 14 vessels to the Clure Public Marine Terminal here in Duluth, nearly twice as many as last year, representing a tonnage increase of more than 200 percent," said Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director Vanta Coda.