Port of Milwaukee: Wraps up a strong international shipping season with steel tonnages reaching near-record levels


Jeff Fleming 414-286-8580

Workers at the Port of Milwaukee are unloading the final shipment of steel for 2014, culminating one of the busiest seasons for steel in recent decades. The cargo now being unloaded from the Federal Mattawa brings this year’s steel volume to 179-thousand metric tons, the second highest annual steel tonnage since 1970.

Steel is a raw material used in manufacturing in the Milwaukee region. So, an increase in steel moving through the port is a positive indicator of manufacturing activity.

“Among the other factors affecting steel volumes at the Port of Milwaukee are global economic conditions, reliability and efficiency of delivering steel through the St. Lawrence Seaway, and cost-effective port operations in Milwaukee,” Acting Port Director Paul Vornholt said. “Also, port tenant Federal Marine Terminals has been a valued partner in helping to increase steel tonnage.”

Steel is one of many different commodities that travel through the Port of Milwaukee. Salt, cement, limestone and coal arrive; various manufactured products and grain are exported from the port.

With the St. Lawrence Seaway closing for the season later this month, the Federal Mattawa is the final ship to bring overseas cargo into the Port of Milwaukee. One additional ocean-going ship, the bulk carrier Three Rivers, is expected to depart the Port of Milwaukee later this week with a load of exported soybeans headed for Turkey. Ships traveling between ports on the Great Lakes will continue to call on the Port of Milwaukee into the coming months.