A Future for Shipping Containers in Duluth

The pinto beans from Chippewa Valley Bean Company that shipped out of Duluth last month was the first maritime container shipment out of Twin Ports. Lake Superior Warehousing Company President Jon Lamb wants to expand on that. The expansion includes opening up identity-preserved container service at the Port of Duluth-Superior for other exporters across the Midwest. “Everything with transportation logistics is about having options. While we have great elevators in the market that can do bulk commodities for agriculture, we’re not set up for containerization on the lakes. Not that containers can’t be stuffed here, they can, or they can arrive already loaded for IP, but it’s all about getting the service set up with vessel carriers and a supply of steady boxes. If we can provide more options, exporters can access more markets.” The markets will determine which ag commodities can take advantage. “Our best scenarios are really those commodities or shippers that want to access Europe or North Africa.” As options open up, Lamb ultimately sees the Port of Duluth-Superior as a small, niche player. “We don’t want everyone’s eggs. If we could get an egg or two here and there, we can build density of traffic and provide an ultimate solution to help the stressed supply chains.”