April 23, 2014 marked the latest shipping season start in Port Inland’s history (since records began in 1993). Above, the American Steamship Company’s “Buffalo” arrived at the Port Inland dock on April 23 at 10 p.m. after pushing through the ice flows remaining inside the break wall. The boat was loaded with 21,091 net tons of limestone bound for Muskegon and departed Port Inland at 3 p.m. on April 24. With the cold winter and severe ice conditions on the Great Lakes, Carmeuse Lime and Stone officials say the overall shipping season has had what is referred by the US Coast Guard as a “once in a generation” event. Ice conditions have resulted in shipping season being a surprising four weeks behind schedule. The Soo Locks opened on March 25, but those at Carmeuse say only approximately 12 vessels have made it through loaded with iron ore from Duluth, Minn. – a delay felt by Port Inland.