As I read the discussion groups on boatnerd.com, I found that many ships are still in lay-up because of the downturn in the economy. An article in the Duluth News Tribute today verified that.
The Tribute is reporting that the Edgar B. Speer was the 4th 1,000 footer taken out of service this spring. The Speer needs repairs on her bow thrusters but the other three footers were not brought out because of weak demand.
The slow down in the demand for taconite also causes a slow down in the demand for lime. The downturn in construction has caused a slowdown in concrete and stone shipments as well.