Google+ How are the ships in the Duluth port connected to your household appliances? - Minnesota Iron

How are the ships in the Duluth port connected to your household appliances?

Thousands of people flock to Canal Park in Duluth, Minn., each year to watch and wave at the massive ships entering and exiting the Duluth harbor under the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge.

What many don’t know is that when they are watching the ships, they are watching an integral part of Minnesota’s iron mining process.

On average, 35 million short tons of cargo move through the Port of Duluth-Superior each year. Taconite pellets account for 60% of that cargo.

These pellets are brought to the Duluth-Superior port by rail from Minnesota’s iron mines. Once the pellets leave the port, they are shipped to North American steel mills to be made into steel to make the things Americans use every day.

Iron ore tonnage through the Twin Ports was the highest last year in a decade when 19.7 million short tons left the port to be melted into steel, the key component in so many things that make our modern lives possible, including:

  • Vehicles – cars, trucks, SUVs, semis, buses, and trains are all made with steel.
  • Household appliances – refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, stoves, and dishwashers all claim steel as a main component.
  • Infrastructure – roads, bridges, tunnels, sewers, and electrical grids all depend on the use of iron and steel.
  • Food- farming equipment that helps grow and harvest our food, the vehicles that transport the food, and the refrigerators that preserve the food couldn’t exist without steel.
  • Manufacturing – many of the items we use every day are made by machines made of –  you guessed it – steel.

Want to find a time to watch a ship – or find out what it’s carrying – in the Twin Ports? Visit:

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