MINN. FIRM SHIPS GRAIN TO PHILIPPINES UNDER AID PLAN

MINN. FIRM SHIPS GRAIN TO PHILIPPINES UNDER AID PLAN

Lake Superior Warehousing Co. finally is shipping processed grain to the Philippines under a U.S. government program for underprivileged countries. But the shipment, which has arrived at the Duluth port, is less than 8 percent of what it had hoped for earlier this year.

The Duluth warehouse will unload 550 metric tons of corn-and-soy flour

from railroad boxcars, repackage the flour into containers for oceangoing ships and send the containers to Seattle on Burlington Northern trains. Lake Superior Warehousing Co. operates under a contract with the Seaway Port Authority of Duluth.Earlier this year, Lake Superior Warehousing had arranged to move 7,200 metric tons of grain through the port under the federal Food for Peace program. The program is designed to help humanitarian organizations donate food to developing countries.

But a political fight cut most of the Twin Ports' Food for Peace business, said Gary Nicholson, manager of Lake Superior Warehousing. A federal law requires 75 percent of Food for Peace shipments to be moved aboard U.S.- flag vessels.

The Twin Ports shipments were to be moved to Singapore by American President Lines Ltd., which then planned to transfer the cargo to foreign-flag ships to be distributed to various ports in India. But another company successfully argued that it could transport the flour on U.S.-flag vessels all the way to India, and the business was taken away from Lake Superior Warehousing, Mr. Nicholson said.

In an odd twist, the longshoremen are unloading, repackaging and reloading

trains. The flour won't see a ship until the BN trains reach Seattle.