Monday, November 30, 2009

Saginaw River Passage - November 30th

Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound on the Saginaw River on Monday with a split load. The pair lightered at the Essexville Sargent dock, before heading upriver towards Saginaw to finish unloading. It is not yet known what dock she is bound for, but I will include it with tomorrow's report.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saginaw River Passage - November 29th

Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville on Sunday. She completed her unload and was outbound late in the evening, backing out into the Saginaw Bay to turn and head for the lake.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saginaw River Passage - November 24th & 25th

The Adam E. Cornelius made her first visit to the Saginaw River this season, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City on Tuesday. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake later in the day.

On Wednesday, the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort with the barge Great Lakes Trader called on the Bay City Wirt dock to unload. She was expected to be outbound late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saginaw River Passage - November 20th

The Olive L Moore & Lewis J. Kuber were inbound early Friday morning, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. The pair were outbound later in the day headed for the lake.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Saginaw River Passage - November 18th

The tug Zeus and her tank barge arrived on the Saginaw River Wednesday morning, calling on the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City to unload. The pair were expected to be outbound on Thursday.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Saginaw River Passage - November 16th

The Saginaw River has been quiet for the past few days, so it was nice to see an old friend call on the river for the first time this season. Manistee was inbound on Monday headed upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake Monday evening.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saginaw River Passage - November 12th

The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived on the Saginaw River overnight and were unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City on Thursday morning. They completed their unload and were outbound for the lake by mid morning.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saginaw River Shipping Volume Declines For The Fifth Year

The following article appeared in the Sunday, November 8th Bat City Times
by Kathryn Lynch-Morin

Continuing a five-year trend, 2009 proved commercial shipping on the Saginaw River is still on a downturn.

However, dock owners and shipping analysts agree that recent dredging is saving the river as a shipping port.

Todd Shorkey, who reports vessel passages to the online group, said as of Oct. 31 this year there were 141 commercial vessel passages making deliveries to docks along the Saginaw River.

That’s down from 176 vessel passages in 2008, and down from a five-year average of 217 vessel passages per year. About 296 vessel passages were made during the same time period in 2005.

“So, it is quite easy to see that 2009 has not been a good year for shipping on the Saginaw River,” Shorkey said. “There has been a downward trend each year for the past five years.”

A poor economy gets some of the blame, lowering demand for the high-volume products moved by lake freighters.

Despite the decline, many companies in the Great Lakes Bay Region still rely on shipping as a means of transportation.

William G. Webber, president of the Saginaw River Alliance — a group of 22 companies that use the river for moving materials — attributes a lot of shipping traffic this year to materials needed for construction work on road projects such as Interstate 675 in Saginaw County and Center Avenue in Bay County.

“State highway work in Bay City and Saginaw have been the largest movers of construction stone,” said Webber, who owns Sargent Docks and Terminal Inc., which has facilities in Essexville and Saginaw.

According to Shorkey, the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City had the most traffic in 2009 with 29 deliveries, followed by the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw with 27 deliveries and the Bay Aggregates dock in Bangor Township with 25 deliveries.

Even though the stone docks saw the most traffic this year, Webber said stone sales are very slow because of the economy.

Construction at Hemlock Semiconductor Group in Saginaw County’s Thomas Township, in addition to Great Lakes Bay Regional agriculture, also contributed to the need for shipping traffic. Webber cited Michigan Sugar Co. as a strong base with its needs for kiln limestone, coal, potash, urea and other fertilizers. He said the POET Biorefining ethanol plant in Caro also helped the river shipping industry with its need for pot ash.

Dredging projects on the Saginaw River began in May and removed more than 200,000 cubic yards in an area from Bay City south to Saginaw.

“Dredging has saved the Saginaw River,” Webber said. “We can now turn ships and have removed the worst shoals. Next, we will be able to deepen the channel, which will result in tremendous shipping efficiencies.”

A shoal is an area of shallow water that serves as a navigation hazard to ships.

More than $4 million has poured in to the dredging project so far and $5 million has been spent to create a dredged material disposal facility on the Bay-Saginaw county line.

Another $3.4 million is earmarked by the federal government to dredge the river in five spots next year between the Sixth Street turning basin and Saginaw Bay. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to remove 339,000 cubic yards from the bay and 107,500 cubic yards from the bottom of the river.

Jim Koski, Saginaw County Public Works commissioner, said the dredging project will lead to confidence and investing in Saginaw River shipping.

“It was really hard to get somebody to invest in the Saginaw River, but now we are the safest inland port on the Great Lakes,” Koski said. “Now we can go out and say we’ve got a port that will be here 75 to 100 years from now.”

The Saginaw News contributed to this report.

Saginaw River Passage - November 8th

The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound early Sunday morning with a split load. The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock before continuing upriver to finish at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The Moore & Kuber were outbound Sunday evening.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Saginaw River Passages - November 5th

The Algoway was back again Thursday morning, this time calling on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee with a load of salt. She was also joined by the Calumet who arrived with a split load for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt Stone docks. Algoway departed the Sargent dock late in the morning, going up to Sixth Street to turn. She then stopped back at Sargent and tied up until the early in the evening while waiting for more favorable wind conditions before departing. Calumet was outbound during the afternoon passing the Algoway at Sargent and then the inbound Olive L. Moore-Lewis J. Kuber who were just arriving at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. The Moore and Kuber were expected to depart late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saginaw River Passages - November 3rd

During the early morning hours on Tuesday, the Algoway was outbound from the Saginaw Rock Products dock, headed for the lake. On her way out, she passed the inbound Calumet, who was bound for the GM Stone dock in Saginaw. Also inbound Tuesday morning was the Indiana Harbor, calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. Both the Calumet and Indiana Harbor were outbound late Tuesday afternoon, heading for the lake.

Monday, November 2, 2009

October Vessel Passage Report

For the month of October, there were 22 vessel passages in the Saginaw River. This is one more than in October of 2008, but still well below the five year average of 31 commercial passages. For the year, there have been 141 passages on the Saginaw river, a decrease of 36 from 2008 and a whopping 76 below the five year average.

Saginaw River Passage - November 1st

The Algoway was inbound the Saginaw River early Monday morning, calling on the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw to unload. As of 8:30pm on Monday she was still at the dock.