Maritime Administration News Release

News Release #: MARAD 02-08
Date: Jan 9 2008
Contact: Shannon Russell
Contact Phone: 202-366-5807

Maritime Administrator Obeserves New Terminal Technology to Make Port More Efficient, Competitive

SUPERIOR, Wisconsin—Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton today praised a new rotary railcar unloader barrel designed to double the efficiency of moving coal from rail cars to vessels, making the Port of Duluth more competitive.

“This state-of-the-art innovation will help move important cargo more quickly through the Twin Ports of Duluth-Superior,” said Connaughton. “Greater efficiency in this important terminal will result in greater overall productivity in the port, which puts the Twin Ports in a great competitive position.”

The new unloading system locks railcars into position, then rotates them 160 degrees to discharge the coal onto the facility’s conveyor systems. This means of unloading trains is approximately twice as fast as previous systems, and is expected to handle more than 400 million tons of coal before it needs replacement.

Connaughton observed the new unloading system during a visit to the Midwest Energy Resource Company’s coal terminal, part of a two-day trip to the Port of Duluth-Superior. While there, he conferred with port officials and spoke at the luncheon meeting of the local Propeller Club.