M/V American Century

M/V American Century



The M/V American Century was formerly known as the Columbia Star. Columbia referred to the brig Columbia that carried the first cargo of iron ore through the St. Mary's Falls Canal in 1855. Star referred to the star that Oglebay Norton vessels formerly carried on their smoke stacks. The vessel came under the ownership of American Steamship Company in 2006.

The M/V American Century sailed its maiden voyage in ballast from Sturgeon Bay, WI in May of 1981 to load iron ore pellets at Silver Bay, MN for delivery in Lorain, OH.


The M/V American Century was built by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. at Sturgeon Bay, WI in 1981.


The M/V American Century is powered by four 3500 HP General Motors Electro Motive Division (EMD) diesel engines. The vessel uses a conveyor system below its cargo holds to transport cargo to a "loop conveyor" system that elevates the cargo to the massive deck-mounted boom conveyor. For maneuvering in port, the vessel is equipped with 1,500 HP bow and stern thrusters.


The M/V American Century is primarily used for long-haul transport of iron ore pellets and western coal on the Great Lakes.

Length, Overall 1000'-0"
Beam 105'-0"
Depth 56'-0"
Midsummer Draft (MS) 34'- 3/4"
Deadweight Capacity at MS Draft 80,900 Gross Tons
Deadweight Capacity at 27'-6" 62,100 Gross Tons
Unloading Boom Conveyor Length 250'
Maximum Unloading Rate 10,000 Tons/Hour
Number of Cargo Holds 7
Number of Hatches 37
Shaft Horsepower 14,000
Year Built 1981
Number of Propellers 2


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American Steamship Company