The first of five new Polish ships built specifically for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway trade loaded its first U.S. grain cargo in the Port of Duluth-Superior. Bulk carrier Isa arrived at Duluth's AGP Grain, Ltd., to load about 22,000 tons of spring wheat and feed peas for Barcelona, Spain.
Designed and constructed to serve ports in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system
, Isa was delivered from a Japanese shipyard in April. Since then, two sister ships have been completed: Isolda in June and Isadora in early August. The fourth new ship is scheduled to enter service
in December and the fifth is due in January.
All five are owned and managed by the Polish Steamship Co., Szczecin, and represented in North America by Polsteam USA, New York City. Duluth Port Director Davis Helberg said all five are expected to be frequent callers at the Port of Duluth-Superior.
Isa and her four sisters are bulk carriers equipped with deck cranes and bow thrusters and of identical dimensions: 658.8 ft. long and 77.4 ft. wide. The maximum width for ships entering the Seaway is 78 ft.
"It's no secret that the Seaway's size restrictions have been a limiting factor on the system's growth," Helberg said, "but it's highly encouraging companies like Polish Steamship and others are dedicating themselves to future Great Lakes service. They recognize our ports do indeed offer an attractive, competitive market and we are grateful for their faith in our system."
Although Isa is registered in Cyprus, the crew is Polish under the command of Capt. Edward Bobrowski. The ship's local agent was Guthrie-Hubner, Inc. and the stevedoring contractor was Ceres, Inc.