Three 1,000-foot long U.S.-flag Great Lakes bulk cargo vessels will be laying up for the winter at the Port of Milwaukee. The Stewart J. Cort, the Edwin H. Gott and the Burns Harbor, are making the Port their winter home.
The Port of Milwaukee will also be hosting two integrated tug/barge cement carriers: the tug Samuel de Champlain with the barge Innovation and the G.L. Ostrander paired with its barge unit, Integrity.
The vessels will pay a mooring fee and other charges for winter mainenance services offered by the Port. While the fees paid by the ships is just a tiny fraction of the the Port's revenue base, the fees are a way to earn revenue while the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System is closed for winter maintenance.
According to Port of Milwaukee spokesman Jeff Fleming, the ships spending the winter at the Port often conduct winter maintenance on the vessels and make some repairs during February and march in preparation for the next shipping season and local companies and local workers are hired to do much of the work.
While the five afroementioned ships are tied up at the Port of Milwaukee until spring, the Port is staying busy handling other ships which are still bringing important commodiites to the Port such as road salt.