Port of Milwaukee: Cargo volume climbs in 2013

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Cargo Volume Climbs at the Port of Milwaukee in 2013

Final Oceangoing Ship of the Season Now Unloading Steel

The Port of Milwaukee is approaching the end of 2013 with strong cargo volumes, paced by more than double the quantity of salt arriving by ship this year. Total tonnage is expected to reach 2.7 million metric tons in 2013 – significantly surpassing last year’s total of 2 million tons and close to the volume tallied in 2011.

Thursday and Friday 7,000 tons of steel is being unloaded from the Federal Shimanto. That is the final oceangoing ship scheduled to call on Milwaukee this shipping season. The St. Lawrence Seaway annually closes for approximately three months starting in late December. Steel is one of the commodities handled at the Port of Milwaukee that has seen an increase this year.

“Through the month of November, cargo volume reflects better manufacturing activity in the region served by the Port of Milwaukee,” Acting Port Director Paul Vornholt said. “Infrastructure investments at the Port continue to improve the customer experience, and we hope that is a factor in maintaining and growing our traffic in the coming years.”

Activity continues at the Port throughout the winter with rail, truck and barge traffic. Barges carry a variety of cargoes to and from Milwaukee year round through the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Salt, primarily used for street deicing, saw the largest jump in cargo volume in 2013. Through November, the Port handled 1.3 million tons of salt; that is more than twice the amount handled in 2012.

Other commodities typically handled at the Port of Milwaukee include coal, cement, limestone, fertilizers, machinery, over dimensional project cargoes, liquid cargoes including biodiesel and ethanol, and agricultural commodities such as corn, wheat and soybeans.

The Port of Milwaukee is an economic entity of city government that is governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, a panel appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett and confirmed by the Common Council. It administers operations on the 467 acres that make up the Port. In addition to promoting shipping and commerce, the Port of Milwaukee is the grantee of Foreign Trade Zone #41 which adds economic benefits to companies involved in international trade.