November 1, 2021 - Door County PulseIt’s been almost four decades since a new bulk carrier ship joined the Great Lakes fleet, a hiatus broken last Thursday after workers opened the valves to flood the dry dock at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay to launch the Mark W. Barker. “This is a huge milestone for all of us to be able to put the boat in the water for the first time,” said the vessel’s namesake, Mark Barker, president of Interlake Steamship, which commissioned and owns the ship. The 639-foot-long, 75-foot-wide bulk freighter received full maritime honors Oct. 28, including a large crowd, speeches and the crack of a ceremonial bottle of champagne against the bow of the ship above the vessel’s nameplate.
May 12, 2021 - Bridge MichiganSAULT STE. MARIE—In hard hats and safety vests, the two women shimmy up aluminum boarding ladders onto a converted World War II tanker. The rumble of the ship’s 8,040-horsepower engine makes conversation near-impossible on this blue sky morning. But public health workers Charity Zimmerman, a nurse, and Jill Schaefer, a clerk, know the drill on these steel giants that travel through the Soo Locks, the iconic commercial squeeze point between lakes Huron and Superior.
March 16, 2021 - WXYZ
March 13, 2021 - MLive
January 26, 2021 - Great Lakes NowThe Great Lakes’ iconic freighters remained common sights on the waters – that much didn’t change during pandemic. But, like many industries, shipping was hit hard by COVID-19. That feels especially salient when shipping is such an integral piece of the Great Lakes economy.
January 15, 2021 - Superior TelegramMark Barker, president of Interlake Maritime Services, which manages the steamship company, described the season as "one of the most dynamic in recent history." “It wasn’t necessarily a banner year for cargoes carried," Barker said, "but I’m extremely proud of the resourcefulness and responsiveness of our entire industry and especially the women and men onboard our ships in keeping the American economy moving forward these last 10 months.”
December 30, 2020 - Mason County PressThe S.S. Badger, along with the Pere Marquette 41 and its tug, Undaunted, have been sold to a family-operated shipping company based out of Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Interlake Holding Company announced today the purchase of Lake Michigan Carferry Company and Pere Marquette Shipping Company. The acquisition signals the creation of a new business entity, Interlake Maritime Services, which will manage the new businesses along with The Interlake Steamship Company and its fleet of nine freighters.
December 18, 2020 - The Toledo BladeAn assignment to haul salt cargoes is typically a Great Lakes freighter’s death warrant. As anyone who drives a car on salt-treated roadways knows, salt and metal are a recipe for rust, especially where there’s also moisture. Multiply that by 25,000 tons at a time and it becomes clear why salt service has historically been the final chapter in many a ship’s story before a trip to the scrap yard. So what’s up with Interlake Steamship Co.’s plan to use its new freighter, now being built at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Wisconsin, to haul rock salt from the Cargill mine in Cleveland pretty much as soon as the vessel enters service during the summer of 2022.
December 14, 2020 - MLiveThe coronavirus pandemic has brought loss, disruption, and dramatic change, but it also has inspired many Michigan students to find unique ways to help make a difference in the lives of others. Two high school students, who bonded over a love of the Great Lakes Region and freighters, wanted to show crew members aboard those fleets that their essential work was appreciated by creating Christmas care packages.
November 2, 2020 - WXYZ