CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Port of Cleveland saw 9 percent more cargo last year than in 2018, thanks to an increase in business from Canada.
That’s despite the fact that cargo from Europe decreased by 25 percent, in part because of tariffs, said Jade Davis, the port’s vice president of external affairs.
The port has received a lot of Canadian barge traffic, especially of pipes and flat-rolled steel for steel plants.
The port and terminal operator LOGISTEC have shifted focus to new cargo from Canada. The port also finished a major rehabilitation of their bulkhead at Cleveland Bulk Terminal, so crews can work on multiple vessels simultaneously.
“Our terminal operator has found some other customers, which is good, and we’re glad about that, and we’re moving forward,” Davis said.
In 2019, the port welcomed 28 passenger cruise ships and planned a $600,000, permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility to process cruise passengers. In 2020, the port expects 42 cruises.
Viking Cruises will begin sailing the Great Lakes in 2022, though are not planning to stop in Cleveland. Davis hopes that changes in the future.
“We’re definitely going to stay communicating with them,” he said, “;et them know we’re a port of call, we’re investing in facility and we’re ready.”
The ships that continued to come from Europe travel through the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Atlantic Ocean.
The 2,300-mile St. Lawrence saw an 8.5 percent increase in dry bulk cargo shipments in 2019, according to a news release. Salt was the No. 1 increase, at 3.9 million metric tons. However, the 38 million tons of commodities moved in 2019 is a 6.6-percent decrease from 2018.
“Throughout the 2019 shipping season, American Great Lakes ports continued moving cargos at a consistent pace, achieved numerous benchmarks and historic moments, and made significant investments to maintain success in 2020,” Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, said in a news release.