Great Lakes Shipping

Great Lakes Shipping

        Many of the cities along the Great Lakes, both Canadian and U.S.A. sides, depended on the Great Lakes for transportation.  For many year, freighters have carried products, resources, and people all over the Inland Seas.  There is still much activity today.  This project will have the students track a freighter for a period of time and write a short report.  Internet access is a must, but much of the work can be done in school.  Most of the links used are given here, but further research can be done with adult permission.  Some of the links given below may not be "click-and-go links."

This link is needed to track vessels.  Further information can be gathered by clicking on the ship.

Further information can be gathered at these websites:

(This is the only working cam for the Soo Locks that I have found so far.)
There are links to cameras at the Soo Locks, but these cams owned by the Army Corps of Engineers have not been operational for a couple years.
(This handout was given in class, but it can be copied into a word processing document.  Some format errors may occur.)
The website allows a person to follow any or many ships anywhere in the world.  We have been following some Great Lakes freighters as part of the Social Studies unit covering the U.S.A. and Canada.   Answer the following items, but not all items may be answerable.

Ship name:  _________________________________________________________________

Flag:  _________________________             Ship type: _______________________________

Year built:  ____________________             Call sign:  ________________________________

Captain:  ______________________             Company:  _______________________________

Dead weight:  _______________ tons         Gross tonnage:  ________________ tons

(Subtract Gross tonnage from Dead weight to get cargo capacity)  ___________________

What is the significance of the ship's name?  _______________________________________

Canadian ports:  _______________________________________________________________


U.S. Ports:  ___________________________________________________________________


Did this ship transit the Soo locks?                        YES      NO

Did this ship transit the Welland Canal?                 YES      NO

How many miles (approximately) did the ship travel during the time observed?  ___________

Approximately how many miles will the ship travel during the season?  __________________

List any known cargo the ship hauled:  _____________________________________________


From the website given or another site, include a picture of the vessel.

Write a short response (TS-2ex) about a Great Lakes Freighter.  Include any information that was interesting, useful, fun, or otherwise significant about the vessel followed.

Other useful websites include Google Earth, Google,,,, and