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Shipping season on the Great Lakes has been extended by three days

DULUTH/SUPERIOR - The shipping season on the Great Lakes has been extended by three days.

The Army Corps of Engineers says there's a higher demand for cargo - so the locks at Sault Saint Marie Michigan will close at midnight on Tuesday instead of midnight tomorrow.

Glenn Neckvasil of the Lake Carriers Association says companies want to stockpile more coal and iron ore. He says steel mills are busier, and they'll need a couple more shipments to get through the winter. Lots of ice will need to be broken to get the boats through.

So the Coast Guard has brought in the ice-breaker Morrow Bay from the East Coast. Neckvasil says all ice-breakers are working hard right now, and the shippers appreciate it.

Ron Johnson of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority says the shipping extension is another positive sign that the economy's recovering. Iron ore tonnage was up 67-percent on the Great Lakes compared to 2009 - which was the worst shipping year since 1938 during the Great Depression.