Freighters Newsletter

Welcome to the online home of Freighters Newsletter, the bi-monthly publication of Shipwatcher News. This is the seventh generation of the original Shipwatcher News newsletter started in 2014. It was published as Shipwatcher News from 2014 to 2018 and Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle from 2018 to 2020 before becoming Freighters in 2020. Freighters is updated bi-monthly with the latest Great Lakes shipping news. Between issues, check the Newsfeed page for other updates.



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Release of #59 Freighters

#59 Freighters September-October 2021

  • When steel meets water: Launching the Mark W. Barker
  • Retired Lakers Manistee and St. Clair to be scrapped at Port Colborne
  • Government takes steps closer to building an additional Great Lakes icebreaker
  • SS Badger heading to the shipyard
  • In the Design: Major Conversions & Rebuilds Part I
  • Featured Vessel: Commander / Caroline McKee

#58 Freighters July-August 2021

  • Farewell to the USCGC Alder
  • Port of Monroe awarded grant for cargo screening infrastructure
  • Algoma Spirit departs for the boneyard
  • New Captain Henry Jackman breaks cargo record on maiden voyage
  • In the Design: Ballast systems
  • Featured Vessel: Edgar B. Speer

#57 Freighters May-June 2021

  • Port of Monroe steers to the future
  • USCGC Alder to depart Great Lakes
  • Unprecedented second printing of Know Your Ships
  • Shepler’s William Richard christened
  • In the Design: Fuels and Emissions
  • Featured Vessel: Alpena

#56 Freighters March-April 2021

  • Looking back: 2020 Season recap
  • COVID and Great Lakes shipping in 2021
  • Caroline McKee enters service on the Great Lakes
  • Construction update: Mark W. Barker
  • In the Design: Hull strength
  • Featured Vessel: CSL Tadoussac

#55 Freighters January-February 2021

  • Farewell to familiar ships
  • Captain Henry Jackman launched
  • Roger Blough suffers major fire in layup
  • Building the International Great Lakes Datum
  • In the Design: Automation – A look into the increased use of automation on Great Lakes ships
  • Featured Vessel: Mississagi

#54 Freighters November-December 2020

  • Introducing Michigan Trader and Dirk S. VanEnkevort
  • Two Canadian fleets welcome new vessels
  • Michigan teens deliver Caring for our Sailors Care Packages
  • S/S Edmund Fitzgerald: 45 Years under the waters of Lake Superior
  • Interlake purchases S/S Badger and ATB Pere Marquette 41 / Undaunted
  • In the Design: Stern design
  • Featured Vessel: Wilfred Sykes

#53 Freighters September-October 2020

  • Welcoming the William Richard
  • ArcelorMittal sells U.S. assets to Cleveland-Cliffs in $1.4 billion deal
  • Barge Michigan Trader delivered to VanEnkevort Tug & Barge
  • Algoma Intrepid delivered to Algoma Central Corp.
  • Work progressing quickly on Interlake’s Mark W. Barker
  • In the Design: The leading end – a look at bow design on Great Lakes ships
  • Featured Vessel: American Integrity

#52 Freighters July-August 2020

  • Port City Marine’s latest vessel makes her debut – ATB Caroline McKee
  • $123 Million appropriated for new Soo Lock construction
  • Ship allisions and collisions
  • Putting on the finishing touches: William Richard nears completion
  • In the Design: Inside the cargo hold
  • Featured Vessel: Ojibway

#51 Freighters May-June 2020

  • Keel laid and name revealed for Interlake’s new ship Mark W. Barker
  • Tug Mississippi arrives for service at Great Lakes Maritime Academy
  • Rand Logistics completes acquisition of American Steamship Company
  • Cleveland-Cliffs resumes operations
  • In the Design: A look behind the concept of Articulated Tug-Barges
  • Featured Vessel: Tim S. Dool

#50 Freighters March-April 2020

  • Algoma Conveyor runs aground in Green Bay
  • 2020 Shipping season gets underway
  • Tanker ATB Albert/Margaret runs aground in Lake St. Clair
  • New salt brine mining operation coming to Bay City
  • Coronavirus shocks Great Lakes shipping industry
  • M/V St. Clair fire report reviewed
  • In the Design: A look behind the concept of self-unloading technology
  • Featured Vessel: Lee A. Tregurtha – from WWII Tanker to Great Lakes Freighter

#49 Freighters January-February 2020

  • American Steamship Company sold to Rand Logistics
  • Burns Harbor ends 2019 shipping season
  • USACE awards contract for Phase 1 of New Soo Lock Construction
  • Work continues to clear obstacles for Port of Monroe
  • Shepler’s new ferry almost complete
  • Featured Vessel: Cason J. Callaway

#48 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – January 2020

  • Freighter Tecumseh suffers major engine room fire
  • President Trump signs Soo Locks bill into law
  • Port of Monroe awarded $1.1 Million federal grant
  • USCGC Mobile Bay ready for service

#47 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – December 2019

  • Days numbered for classic laker Mississagi
  • Gales of November uncover shipwreck on beach
  • Star Line ferry breaks loose
  • Enbridge completes Line 5 tunnel rock samples
  • Great Lakes Maritime Academy celebrates 50 years

#46 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – November 2019

  • American Valor sold to Lower Lakes Towing
  • Sarah Spencer towed for scrap
  • Floragracht visits Manistee
  • Edna G. faces uncertain future
  • Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin runs aground in St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Museum Ship William A. Irvin heads home
  • Water levels threaten Waugoshance Lighthouse

#45 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – October 2019

  • Name announced for new Shepler’s ferry
  • House authorizes $922 Million for Soo Locks project
  • New cruise ship Le Champlain arrives on the Lakes
  • Lake Michigan, Lake Huron to have higher water levels in 2020
  • Algoma Central announces agreement with Croatian Shipyard
  • New tugboat coming soon for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

#44 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – September 2019

  • Thief steals artifacts from LST-393 museum
  • Algoma Central signs contract with 3 Maj Shipyard
  • ATB Laura L. VanEnkevort arrives on the Lakes
  • Indiana Harbor breaks Soo Locks ore record
  • Interlake cuts steel for new freighter
  • Dorothy Ann / Pathfinder makes unusual salt runs
  • Construction progresses on new Toledo HBI plant
  • Aquastar cruises

#43 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – August 2019

  • M/V Michipicoten rescues jet skier
  • Soo Locks ore records broken
  • LCA Study shows economic loss due to sub-par icebreaking
  • Canada introduces plan to build 6 new icebreakers
  • A bit more on the St. Clair fire

#42 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – July 2019

  • Algoma’s cancelled order could save Croatian shipyard
  • Port of Muskegon receives first Seaway Pacesetter Award
  • Poe Lock turns 50
  • Dossin Great Lakes museum to get Million Dollar upgrade
  • Order of Ford Cars costs Port of Monroe when Customs steps in
  • USS Billings [LCS-15] hits docked ship in Montreal harbor

#41 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – June 2019

  • Maritime Career Day exposes high school students to careers on the Lakes and oceans
  • Shepler’s building new Mackinac Island ferry
  • American Victory‘s self-unloading boom headed for Sturgeon Bay
  • Algowood, Capt. Henry Jackman headed to Turkey for scrap
  • McKeil Marine Fleet updates
  • Cedarglen to be scrapped
  • Tugboat Ohio exhibit opening at National Museum of the Great Lakes

#40 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – May 2019

  • First ship in almost 30 years to be built on the Great Lakes
  • Arthur M. Anderson returns to service
  • S/S Badger‘s new dock to be completed before new season
  • Happy Birthday Shipwatcher News!

#39 Great Lakes Shipping Chronicle – April 2019

  • 2019 Season-opening news
  • M/V St. Clair fire
  • 2018 Season in review

Great Republic departing Muskegon, Michigan, May 25, 2020. Photo by Brendan Falkowski