Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Great Lakes shipping

We took a ride to Marquette, about 10 miles from our RV Park to view the loading and unloading of a Great Lakes freighter. There is a schedule listed in the newspaper of the ships arrival times. We just hit upon it as a ship was coming in. The ship was a 750 foot  freighter.  This was something we never saw and found it very interesting. Iron ore is the biggest cargo leaving this area.

The ship coming in

Almost in position, the white colored steel crane right behind the control bridge is used to lift the covers off the hatches. The ship wasn't even tied off and the crane was removing the hatch covers. Speed is important as it cost about a $1000. per hour for these large freighters to operate.

Moving the boom out of the way. The boom is used to off load coal. Note the rail cars along the top. The rail cars are loaded with iron ore pellets. I believe it takes 250 rail cars to fill this ship. Can't remember the exact number we were told, but it was around 250. Note the white crane is near the back of the ship.

The shoots are being lowered.  Note the pellets are starting to flow in the last shoot.

The pellets are flowing.

Note how close the ship is to land. It is a very deep port.

Moving the ship back to the rear shoots to finish loading.

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