Earlier today Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett formally accepted the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation's (SLSDC) Pacesetter Award, recognizing the Port of Milwaukee for an increase in the volume of international cargo moved by the port in 2014.
SLSDC Administrator Betty Sutton, presented the award at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Commercial Ports Association at the Port of Milwaukee offices on the Lake Michigan lakefront.
“The Port of Milwaukee serves the local economy by providing an efficient transportation route for incoming raw materials and outgoing finished products,” Mayor Barrett said. “And the local businesses that benefit from commerce at the Port create jobs and economic activity in and around our city.”
The Port of Milwaukee saw increases in the amount of international cargo in several categories during 2014 including steel and grain. In fact, the Port handled the second largest tonnage of steel in its history last year. The number of foreign vessels arriving at the Port of Milwaukee last year was up by more than 20%.
One unusual category of cargo arrived from overseas last year, salt. That commodity is traditionally sourced from mines on the Great Lakes. The Port of Milwaukee was able to respond to the high demand for deicing salt with shiploads from Morocco, Venezuela, and Egypt delivered via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“Many factors affect the volume of cargo that moves through Milwaukee’s Port. The global economy, currency exchange rates, friendly completion among Great Lakes ports, and competing modes of transportation all play roles international shipping trends,” Port Director Paul Vornholt said. “One thing that remains constant is the Port of Milwaukee’s commitment to efficient and dependable service to those who rely on us.”
The Port of Milwaukee is an economic entity of City government governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, a panel appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Common Council. It administers operations on the 467 acres that make up the Port. It promotes shipping and commerce throughout the region by providing access to domestic and international ships, rail, and over-the-road transportation.