Port of Milwaukee: Final oceangoing cargo ship of 2011 concludes a successful shipping year

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Local Workers Load a P&H Electric Shovel for Shipment to Siberia

The Port of Milwaukee’s final oceangoing general cargo ship of the year is transporting a Wisconsin-made mining shovel halfway around the world. The departure of the BBC Naples, a 400-foot long ship designed to load and carry heavy cargo, concludes a year in which the quantity of material shipped through the port has increased significantly.

“Through October, cargo moving through the port is up by more than twenty-five percent over 2010 levels,” Port Director Eric Reinelt said. “That is good news for Milwaukee because it reflects an increase in economic activity in our region.”

The cargo loaded aboard the BBC Naples is a P&H 2800XPC electric shovel bound for the Kuznetsk Coal Basin in Western Siberia. The shovel was designed and built by Joy Global Inc. subsidiary P&H Mining Equipment with structures and transmissions manufactured at the West Milwaukee factory; the motors, controls and operator cab were built at the Orchard Street factory in Milwaukee. The shovel will be assembled and maintained by P&H employees based in Russia.

Port officials estimate that the total cargo moving through the Port of Milwaukee will exceed 3- million metric tons in 2011. Statistics compiled through the end of October show 2.3-million metric tons of cargo had already gone through the port. That compares with 1.9-million tons at the same time last year. The largest category of cargo is dry bulk which includes salt, coal, cement and limestone shipments. Steel and machinery comprise the next largest category, followed by grain and liquid bulk cargo.

The St. Lawrence Seaway, the route ships departing Milwaukee take to reach overseas ports, traditionally closes before the end of December. Other shipping on Lake Michigan continues as long as ice conditions allow.

The Port of Milwaukee serves businesses throughout the region with convenient and cost- effective transportation solutions. It has facilities to send and receive cargo by ship, by rail, and by truck. The Port of Milwaukee is a department of Milwaukee city government and governed by a seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners.