The Port of Duluth is managed by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority created by the Minnesota Legislature in 1955. The harbor covers 19 square miles of land and water, and the waterfront area is 49 miles long, boasting 17 miles of dredged channels. Each year, 45 million net tons of cargo pass through the Port of Duluth.
Over 1000 vessels call at the Port of Duluth each year carrying passengers and cargo. The Port of Duluth handles more ore and coal than any other US port and more grain than any other port of the Great Lakes. In 2005, the Port of Duluth was the 16th busiest port in the United States in total cargo handled. The port supports 2000 jobs and brings $200 million to the area every year, with $2 billion US in cargo shipped through the Port of Duluth’s docks.
The Port of Duluth contains 15 major facilities, including six multi-purpose bulk terminals, a general cargo distribution center, two docks for ores, one dock for coal, and six grain elevators with capacity for 55 million bushels of grain.
In 2007, the Port of Duluth handled almost 48 million tons of cargo, including 13.3 million tons of Canadian exports, almost 32 million tons of domestic cargo, and 2.4 million tons of overseas cargo. Of those 48 million tons, 19.8 million were iron ore, 20.8 million were coal, and 3.2 were gains.