- Associated Press - Monday, January 20, 2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Shipping traffic at the Port of Green Bay was up about 16 percent last year, marking a continued recovery from a shipping slump in 2009 and 2010.

About 2.2 million tons of cargo passed through the facility last year, a figure that port officials say is in line with a healthy shipping season. But this year isn’t getting off to a great start, in part because of the cold weather and ice, Press-Gazette Media reported (http://gbpg.net/1dJwEig ).

Ships using Lake Superior are having a tough time navigating a buildup of ice that’s as bad as it’s been in decades, Coast Guard Soo Vessel Traffic Director Mark Gill said.

For example, a trip from Duluth, Minn., to Gary, Ind., that normally takes three days is now taking six to seven, he said. Because of that, many ships on the Great Lakes are tying up early for the winter.

Despite the slow start to the 2014 season, one port official said he expected things will start picking up quickly. Dean Haen, the head of Brown County’s Port and Resource Recovery department, noted that the 2013 season shut down on Dec. 16, which is about 10 to 14 days earlier than normal.

“We ended strong and ended prematurely, so I think there’s going to be push to start early,” he said.

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Information from: Press-Gazette Media, http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com

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