Illinois International Port District Wins 2017 Season ‘Pacesetter Award’ – Reported Significant Growth in International Tonnage

Washington, D.C. (August 21, 2018) – The Illinois International Port District achieved a 51 percent growth in international tonnage in their 2017 navigation season. For this, the port was honored with the Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Thomas Lavigne, Associate Administrator of the SLSDC presented the award to the Illinois International Port District Executive Director Clayton Harris III and the entire board of directors, the Port was among only six recipients to be honored for the 2017 season.

Pictured Left to Right: Thomas Lavigne, Associate Administrator, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation & Clayton Harris III, Executive Director, Illinois International Port District.

“Congratulations to the six Great Lakes ports being recognized as Pacesetter Award recipients for their achievements during the 2017 navigation season,” said Lavigne. “Overall, the Seaway System realized a 9 percent tonnage increase from 2016 to 2017, with a 25 percent increase in U.S. export cargoes. This strong performance reflects the commitment, hard work, and vision of the teams of professionals at all ports, but especially the Illinois International Port District with its impressive multimodal facility and steadfast leadership from Clayton.”

“Our Port handled 398,967 metrics tons in international freight in 2017, which was a 51% increase year-over-year. This was made possible by our ongoing relationship with QSL/NASCO. As our key tenant, they have empowered us to expand and grow, bringing in more ships and more commodities,” said Harris.

“This increase in international freight is a testament to the Port’s dedication to attracting shippers to the Chicagoland, said Stephen Mosher Vice President, US Operations QSL/North America Stevedoring CO. (NASCO). “We look forward to partnering with the Port to continue this momentum as the year progresses and expect to see fairly strong volumes into the fall.”

Established in 1992, the SLSDC Pacesetter Award recognizes U.S. ports who have registered increases in international cargo tonnage shipped through their ports and through the St. Lawrence Seaway. Over the past 25 years, the SLSDC has distributed more than 140 Pacesetter Awards to 14 different Great Lakes/Seaway ports.

About the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership
The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership is a coalition of leading US and Canadian maritime organizations working to enhance public understanding of the benefits of commercial shipping in the Great Lakes Seaway region of North America. The organization manages an education-focused communications program, sponsors research and works closely with media, policy makers, community groups, allied industries, environmental stakeholders and the general public to highlight the positive attributes of marine transportation.

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System is a marine highway that extends 2,300 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. Approximately 160 million tons of cargo travels over the System on an annual basis, supporting more than 227,000 jobs and $34 billion in economic activity.

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About the Illinois International Port District

The Illinois International Port District is a world-class port focused on generating and expanding economic activity and employment for the benefit of the City of Chicago and State of Illinois. Through the operation of its modern, strategically-driven, multimodal facility on Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois. The Port is committed supporting the community in an environmentally responsible way and improving awareness, understanding and engagement with the surrounding communities and other government agencies.

Approximately 16 million tons of cargo (Steel, liquid bulk, grain, stone, cement, salt) travels over the System on an annual basis, supporting more than 6,381 jobs and $479.5 million in economic activity.

For more information, please visit