During the 2021 Shipping season, the Port of Monroe saw significant cargo increases in steel coils onboard McKeil Marine vessels. The Port also worked with Interlake Steamship Company to move bottom ash and synthetic gypsum to beneficial reuse markets onboard the tug/barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 & motor vessel Herbert C. Jackson.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Monroe’s facilities stayed busy in 2020, buoyed by inbound wind tower components carried by the Happy River of BigLift. The towers were staged at the Port with other wind energy components and transported up to mid-Michigan for a large renewable energy project. The Calumet made a late season trip amid a snowy backdrop to take on a load of bottom ash.
In the spring, the Port had three vessels occupying each of the Port’s active docks. McKeil Marine’s Gagliarda (sailing the lakes now as Blair McKeil) ended its maiden voyage into the Great Lakes at the Port of Monroe. In the fall, the Port of Monroe facilitated a direct ship-to-rail transfer with the heavy lift vessel Happy Ranger of BigLift discharging a 350-ton generator stator to a specialized railcar positioned on a new rail spur that had been completed over the summer. The Happy Ranger then shifted over to the riverfront dock and loaded a full cargo of wind tower components for delivery to Peru.
The season got off to a quick start when the motor vessel Mississagi called on the Port of Monroe for emergency repairs. The new Riverfront dock saw frequent use with several steel coil cargoes inbound and bulk cargoes outbound. The Port welcomed the foreign-flagged tanker Iver Bright on its maiden trip into the Great Lakes later in the season.