Port Milwaukee accepted the Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award on Wednesday from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. Deputy Administrator Craig Middlebrook made the presentation during a luncheon ceremony at the Wisconsin International Trade Conference — an event that provides resources to help grow global trade in the State of Wisconsin.
Over 25 years ago, the Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award was created as a way to help raise awareness to the importance of shipping. The Pacesetter award recognizes ports in the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence Seaway that see an annual increase in international cargo. Milwaukee is one of eight ports honored with the award for 2018.
This occasion marks the 13th time that Port Milwaukee has earned the Pacesetter award. “Earning the Pacesetter Award does not happen by luck – it is achieved because of the hard work, dedication, and vision of the committed team of professionals at Port Milwaukee and its committed customers throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and beyond,” said Middlebrook.
Milwaukee’s international cargo volume increased to 456,000 metric tons in 2018 which represents a 28% increase over 2017. Included in this total is both raw material arriving for local manufacturers and Wisconsin grown agricultural products destined for foreign markets.
“Port Milwaukee serves the local economy by providing an efficient transportation route,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “Local businesses that benefit from commerce at the Port create jobs and over $100 million in annual economic activity in and around our city.”
Great Lakes Seaway shipping is critical to Milwaukee’s manufacturing, energy, and agricultural sectors and plays an important role in the state’s economy. In fact, Great Lakes Seaway shipping supports 7,500 jobs and nearly $1.5 billion in economic activity for the state of Wisconsin.
“The Pacesetter award honors growth in international shipments, and sustained growth is our goal every year,” Municipal Port Director Adam Schlicht said. “The Port’s success is good economic news for Milwaukee, including regional manufacturers, suppliers, and producers seeking efficient and immediate access to global markets via Port Milwaukee’s multimodal transportation infrastructure.”