The Port of Duluth-Superior has been the base of the regional economy for more than a century. Known as the "bulk cargo capital" of the Great Lakes, Port Superior and the Port of Duluth serve many industries that include forestry, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, power generation, construction, and passenger cruising. The "Twin Ports" have almost 80 kilometers (49 miles) of waterfront with a general cargo terminal, a shipyard, tug and barge services, and a fueling dock.
The Twin Ports handle many cargoes that reflect the emphasis on natural resources: coal, grain, iron ore, salt, wood pulp, limestone, cement, steel coil, and equipment. The Twin Ports support more than 11.5 thousand jobs in the metropolitan area. Superior Bay borders the north side of Port Superior and, with the four-kilometer (2.5 mile) strip of land known as Wisconsin Point, separates it from Lake Superior.
The City of Superior's Port Division, Planning Department, provides the public Port Superior infrastructure for the harbor where private sector shippers operate on the waterfront. Harbor dredging and the disposal of dredged materials are major issues for the Port Superior port authority. The Planning and Port Director for Port Superior is an active member of the Metropolitan Interstate Harbor Technical Advisory Committee as well as other organizations related to the harbor and port.
The City of Superior owns, and Duluth-Superior Excursion Company operates Port Superior's Barkers Island Dock as a landing for excursion boats and passengers. This Port Superior dock has two 24.4-meter (80-foot) berthing stations with alongside depth of 2.1 and 2.4 meters (seven and eight feet).
There is a ticket office and gift shop at the rear of the dock. Excursion vessels the Vista Star and Vista King moor at this Port Superior facility, and there is a 48.8-meter (160-foot) floating pier on the southwest side of the island with mooring for 12 charter fishing vessels. Several exhibition vessels are permanently grounded on the northeast side of Barkers Island in Port Superior.
The Barker's Island Marina in Port Superior is a popular boating center and marina community. The marina offers 420 all-weather slips for transient and permanent boaters, complete yacht services, repair services for both power and sail boats, and parts and accessories. The marina has a 35-ton open-end Travelift. Dockage fees include access to water and electricity, the Boater's Clubhouse, a coin-operated laundry, private restrooms and showers, a portable toilet dump station, paved and lighted parking, and lighted tennis courts. Port Superior's Barker's Island Marina offers winter storage and handling services that include haul-out, transport to and from storage lots, bottom washing, re-launching, and cradle or trailer storage.