Postcard of Foreign Ships in Duluth Harbor

Foreign Trade Zone #51 was approved by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board 40 years ago today — Nov. 27, 1979. The first shipment arrived on April 12, 1983. This undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography shows ships in the Duluth Harbor near the Foreign Trade Terminal.

The text on the back reads:

Foreign ships are seen in the Duluth-Superior Harbor, Westerly Terminus of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The new $10,000,000 Foreign Trade Terminal is shown in the foreground. Its facilities include berths for the ocean going vessels. Advanced cargo handling procedures will make this the most efficient port facility in the nation.

Below is another postcard, also from Gallagher’s studio.

The text on the back reads:

Piggy-back Trailer Vans
Pictured are 24 “piggy back” trailer vans filled with freight at Duluth’s newly constructed Public Marine Terminal. These Vans are being loaded aboard the lake freighter Norman W. Foy by one of the huge 90-ton-capacity custom-built cranes which help make Duluth the best equipped port on the Great Lakes.

The Arthur M. Clure Public Marine Terminal, operated by Duluth Cargo Connect, covers 120 acres on Rice’s Point on the edge of the Duluth/Superior harbor.

1 Comment


about 1 year ago

The photo of the crane lifting a cargo container is actually from way back in 1959. It shows the initial attempt to use flat-decked lakers to move cargo containers on the Great Lakes by the Detroit-Atlantic Navigation Corporation of Detroit. 

The company was started by Troy Browning who’s family had been involved in numerous shipping projects over the years. Browning’s Truckers Steamship Company had tried using leased Michigan State Ferries to move truck trailers between Detroit and Cleveland during WWII. But that effort, and this one both fell afoul of the powerful Teamsters Union who vigorously defended the rights of truck drivers to haul truck trailer cargos on the highway system. 

The DANCO containerization effort was further hindered in the late 1950s by the developing limited-access interstate highway system promoted as 4-lane, defense highways by the Eisenhower administration. These served to expedite longer distance truck traffic past traffic lights, two lane roads, steeper hills, and small town congestion in direct completion to fishy-back lakes shipping.

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