The first ship arrivals of the 2021-22 Great Lakes shipping campaign are now expected to arrive at the port of Duluth-Superior on Friday.

The Soo Locks, located on the opposite side of Lake Superior in Michigan, opened at noon Wednesday with a large queue of 12 vessels lined up, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District. It took about 12 hours to get the vessels through.

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Originally, the vessel traffic website Harbor Lookout was projecting arrivals Thursday.

"Shipping schedules always have a tendency to fluctuate," said Jayson Hron, the director of communication and marketing for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

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The National Weather Service issued a gale-watch warning for Wednesday, as strong winds were expected to pass over Lake Superior, but neither the port authority nor the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could confirm if weather affected the schedule.

A sail from the Soo Locks to the port of Duluth-Superior takes about 25 hours, Hron said.

As of Thursday, Harbor Lookout estimated that two lakers would arrive at the Superior entry Friday, the first being the 1,000-foot Stewart J. Cort at 7:30 a.m.

Another three lake freighters should arrive at the Duluth entry Friday afternoon with the first being the James R. Barker at 2 p.m.