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Last saltie of season reaches Duluth

The ocean-going Federal Kushiro will load up with wheat destined for Italy.

The Federal Kushiro traveling under the Aerial Lift Bridge
The Federal Kushiro travels under the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth on Tuesday evening.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — The last ocean-going ship, or "saltie," of the 2022 shipping season passed under the Aerial Lift Bridge just after 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The 624-foot-long Federal Kushiro , which flies under the Marshall Islands flag and is owned by FedNav of Canada, will be loaded with approximately 23,000 short tons of wheat at Duluth's Ceres-Riverland Ag grain terminal before departing for Italy, according to Jayson Hron, spokesperson for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Hron said the ship is expected to leave Duluth on Thursday, Dec. 22.

The latest departure of a saltie from the port was in 1984 when the Federal Calumet, another Fednav ship, left for France on Dec. 23.

The Federal Kushiro needs to get through the St. Lawrence Seaway System before it closes next week.

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the Federal Kushiro gliding through sea smoke
Gliding through sea smoke rising from Lake Superior, the Federal Kushiro reaches the Duluth Entry on Tuesday evening.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune

All ships need to be clear of the Seaway, which connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, by noon Eastern Standard Time on Dec. 31. The Seaway typically reopens in late March.

The Soo Locks, which connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron and the rest of the Great Lakes at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, are scheduled to close Jan. 15 and will reopen March 25.

This story originally listed the incorrect final saltie departure date. It was updated at 3:07 p.m. Dec. 22. The latest a saltie left the port was Dec. 23. The News Tribune regrets the error.

The Federal Kushiro in the Duluth Harbor
The Federal Kushiro travels through the Duluth Harbor on Tuesday evening.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune
The Federal Kushiro travels through the Duluth Entry
The Federal Kushiro travels through the Duluth Entry toward the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth on Tuesday evening.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune
The Federal Kushiro traveling under the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth.
The Federal Kushiro travels under the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth on Tuesday evening.
Dan Williamson / Duluth News Tribune

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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