Amid a pandemic and fears over how a recession could impact Iron Range mining operations, the Twin Ports shipping season quietly got underway over the weekend.

The Burns Harbor departed from the Superior entry at 1:53 a.m. Sunday with a load of iron ore bound for the ship's namesake port in Indiana. The 1,000-foot laker, operated by the American Steamship Company, was also the last into port, arriving on Jan. 16.

Meanwhile, the new season's first traffic should begin arriving later this week. The Stewart J. Cort, H. Lee White and American Mariner all were Twin Ports-bound, with estimated Thursday morning arrivals, according to tracking website Harbor Lookout.

The Soo Locks will open for the season Wednesday, making Lake Superior accessible to the lower Great Lakes and oceangoing vessels.