Minnesota celebrated the start of the 2018 commercial shipping season this week by opening the Port of Duluth-Superior to cargo ships that will deliver iron ore to customers along the Great Lakes, port and mining officials announced Wednesday.

Duluth Seaway Port-Authority officials said the five ships departing the harbor will load iron ore from across Minnesota’s Iron Range and Marquette, Michigan and delivered it to steel mills on the Lower Great Lakes.

With the assistance of an ice breaking tugboat, the Erie Trader/Clyde S. VanEnkevort left the Duluth port Tuesday to load iron ore at the Canadian National dock in Two Harbors.

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