Shipping on The Great Lakes is due to start Tuesday, March 25th, 2014, but the recent cold winter and huge ice flows that have build up around the region may keep giant freighters that normally would be carrying the means to hundreds of tons of commerce from maintaining their normal paths.
“It may be a little more difficult to get the ice off of the gates this year, but they’ll open on time,” said Lynn Rose, a Detroit-based spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that enables ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes.
“It appears to be rather challenging out there right now,” said Chuck Leonard, operations manager for the Pere Marquette Shipping Company in Ludington, which specializes in transporting bulk materials, such as stone, pig iron and lumber.
“We’re looking going out in early April,” Leonard said. “We’re going to wait for a little bit more of the ice to dissipate before we go into the fray.”
“We would much prefer there wasn’t any ice out there and then we could get out there and work. You have good winters and you have bad winters and we got a hard one this year.” Leonard would go on to say.
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