Manufacturer Sees Growth in Great Lakes Shipping

February 14, 2018

Port of Toledo

Construction will soon begin on a new iron plant in Toledo.  The Port Authority there says it’s a big step in the right direction for Great Lakes shipping.

Cleveland Cliffs – an iron ore manufacturer — is opening the plant, the first of its kind in the Great Lakes. It produces hot briquetted iron, using new technology. The iron will then travel to steelmaking companies in Ohio and Indiana.

Joe Cappel is with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and he says the new plant will be a boon to marine traffic out of Toledo.

“We’ll be in the 10-12 million ton per year category — that makes us one of the largest US ports on the Great Lakes system. The 2 million inbound tons will come in on approximately 100 lake trading vessels.”

Representatives from the Toledo Port and Cleveland Cliffs will speak this week at the Great Lakes Waterway Conference in Cleveland. Cappel says it’s an exciting sign of a possible future for the region.

“People look at the Great Lakes shipping industry as really a dying industry. And really, at least at the Port of Toledo, that certainly is not the case.”

The conference will include sessions on autonomous technology and government partnerships.

Great Lakes Today is a collaboration of ideastream, WBFO Buffalo and WXXI Rochester.