SHIPPING: Great Lakes Preview

As the trim, new, diesel-powered ship, the Marquette, pulled alongside its dock at Chicago last week, leather-faced Captain André Senft, 40, broke out a bottle of champagne and drank a toast to Chicago. It was the first time a vessel flying the French flag had touched shore there since Father Marquette beached his frail canoe in 1674.

The Marquette's cargo—wines, liquors, marble, foodstuffs and cork from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal—was a symbol of the flourishing postwar trade between Europe and Great Lakes ports. Shippers estimate that the all-water route is 10% to 20% less costly than rail-water transshipment from Europe...

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