Port Unloads 5,000 Tons of Steel

Unloading at Port Milwaukee

About 5,000 tons of steel were unloaded at Port Milwaukee’s Terminal Two Monday afternoon.

News media were invited to the port to see the rolled bundles of steel being moved from the ship, the Federal Champlain, to the warehouse nearby. Port Milwaukee Spokesperson Jeff Fleming said the steel will then be shipped via truck or train to transportation companies or steel brokers who then give it to manufacturers to create any number of things.

Fleming estimated the total amount of steel moving through Port Milwaukee in 2017 will be around 170,000 to 190,000 tons. That will make 2017 the year with the second highest amount of steel to move through the port in recent decades, with the highest being in 2006 where more than 200,000 tons came through the Port.

Fleming believes the big demand for steel from manufacturing companies is a good indicator for Milwaukee’s economy. He said the warehouses right now are “bursting at the seams” with all the raw materials that have come in for local use.
“Milwaukee is a manufacturing-intensive economy, more so than any other place around the country,” said Fleming. “The Port is very pleased to play a role in that part of Milwaukee’s economy.”

Port Milwaukee Senior Trade Development Representative Peter Hirthe said the Federal Champlain carried the steel all the way from Belgium. It took 15 days to travel from there to Milwaukee: 10 days across the Atlantic Ocean and five days across the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes. The ship is owned by Canadian shipping company Fednav and is the 33rd ship to arrive at the Port carrying steel from Europe this year, said Fleming.

The Port not only accepts tons of steel from ships but also gives them lots of Wisconsin-grown grain in return. All of the grain shipped to Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean is grown within 90 miles of Milwaukee, said Fleming. The Port had the most seaway ships exporting grain last year and ranked second in that category this year, said Hirthe. A ship can carry a total of 20,000 bulk tons of grain. The port will send out a ship full of grain later this week or early the following week.

After the steel was finished unloading — around dinnertime — the Federal Champlain then left for Thunder Bay in Ontario Province in Canada where it will take Canadian grain from there to Europe, said Hirthe.

Shipping on the seaway closes at the end of December and will resume in April 2018, Fleming said.

SOURCE: Jack Fennimore, Urban Milwaukee