I'm not sure what the official day the opening of the Seaway is. Usually, the Welland Canal is opened before the Soo Locks but this year it was different. The Soo Locks opened on March 25 and this year marked the first time they didn't have a ship chomping at the bit to get out. The first ship through the Welland Canal was a week after that. The first ship that went through the Soo Locks was the Cason Callaway which went through on Friday. There is a group of ships waiting around Drummond Island to go upbound but they may have to wait for the downbound ships.
What does all of this mean? Well, the shipping season is a mess right now and it wont be cleared up until we get a nice string of warm days. Evidently, Gary has had to curtail operations until it can get some iron and that's not a light thing. I would imagine some of the other steel mills on the Lakes will be doing the same thing until shipping gets a little more consistent. It would be a daunting task to replace all that lost cargo with trains. Keep in mind that even one of the smaller ships is the equivalent of about 300 rail cars. This could have some longer term economic impact but we will see.