Port of Cleveland Unveils Scheduled Service to Europe

By on October 23, 2013
Steel coils at Port of Cleveland.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority will launch direct, scheduled cargo service between Cleveland and northern Europe, The Plain Dealer reported. The new link could help boost cargo volumes at the Midwest port.

Details of the service will be announced during a scheduled press conference later today (Oct. 23). In the meantime, reports indicate the Cleveland-Europe Express will begin spring 2014, making the Port of Cleveland the first Great Lakes port to offer regularly scheduled shipping to Europe.

Many of Cleveland’s shipments follow a similar pattern: steel in and grain out. For instance, the Dutch-owned Kwintebank left Cleveland empty Monday after unloading specialty steel from Sweden, bound for other Great Lakes ports to pick up grain for Europe. Ohio manufacturers must truck and rail their products to East Coast ports to reach Europe, as there are seldom ships available to them in Cleveland, Will Friedman, the port’s director and CEO, said.

But it’s not just grain shippers who may benefit. “Ohio manufacturers will have a new option for exports of their machinery, paints, polymers, medical devices and airplane parts; a regularly scheduled ship that they can rely on,” Friedman said.

The Cleveland-Europe Express will initially run once a month and later increase to every two weeks, calling Antwerp or Rotterdam.