Windsor Port Authority announced the arrival of the first laker of the 2014 shipping season. The Canada Steamship vessel MV Baie Comeau arrived at K+S Windor Salt Ltd. on April 3. Her arrival officially opened the Port of Windsor 2014 shipping season.

“Our shipping season is off to a slow start due to the heavy ice conditions in the Great Lakes, which has hampered the free movement of commercial vessels”, said David Cree, President and CEO. “During the same time period from the opening of the Seaway in 2013 we already had ten ships arrive in the port. We are optimistic that as the ice clears, the shipping season will recover quickly and continue to post positive gains”. The opening of the Seaway was delayed one week due to heavy ice.

The captain of MV Baie Comeau, Daryl Brain, indicated that this amount of ice this late in the season is highly unusual, but he notes that the ice cover is receding at a good rate. “Our transit from Montreal was only a day later than normal timing and the ice breakers are managing the laker convoy movements very well. Lake Erie appeared to be fairly broken and melting”. Captain Brain indicated that in his experience with ice, Lake Erie should be clear in the next week or so. “Despite the trip through the ice, it is always exciting to be the first laker to Windsor, and we look forward to coming again”, said Captain Brain.

According to Environment Canada, it is anticipated that the ice cover in the Lakes will be cleared by the end of April or early May, allowing a resumption of normal operations.