Port Milwaukee Posts Cargo Growth

(Americas) Seaway Port's Highest Volumes in 7 Years

Authorities at Port Milwaukee have announced a rise in tonnage for 2020, achieving its highest annual cargo volume in seven years.

Despite Covid restrictions impeding much traffic last year, the port delivered 5 percent growth in throughput. Total port tonnage and private docks waterborne tonnage rose to 2.8 million tonnes in 2020, from 2.67 million tonnes in 2019.

“Port Milwaukee’s resilience was on full display in 2020. We overcame flooding resulting from unusually high water levels on Lake Michigan at the start of the year. We also overcame the pandemic’s sustained effect on the economy and on the port’s essential operations,” said Port Director Adam Tindall-Schlicht

SLMSC General Cargo Demand

The port is part of the Great Lakes, the largest interconnected freshwater system in the Americas, and a major conduit for breakbulk cargo. Authorities governing the St. Lawrence Seaway also recently reported strong results for the 2020 navigation season, with general cargo volumes remaining resilient despite downward pressure due to lockdown restriction.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., or SLSMC, a not-for-profit corporation responsible for the Canadian portion of the seaway, reported that general cargo was one of the few segments to increase in 2020, rising to 2.26 million tonnes, from 2.19 million tonnes in 2019.

The St Lawrence Seaway covers 3,700 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean to the head of the Great Lakes and is connected via a system of locks, canals and channels that provide a deep draft waterway in both the U.S. and Canada. The waterway is represented by the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership, a coalition of leading U.S. and Canadian maritime organizations.

Marine Construction Development

Port Milwaukee hailed the contribution of private docks in the harbor, which handled nearly 37 percent more cargo than the previous year. The port’s outbound grain shipments and construction materials also helped drive volumes.

Located on the west coast of Lake Michigan, the port features dedicated heavy-lift docks with lifting capability to handle a diverse mix of cargoes. Onsite machinery includes a Stiff Leg Derrick, capable of lifting 200 tonnes at a 52-foot radius.

The port authorities also signed a new lease with Michels to expand its marine construction operation at the port as well as announcing plans to build a new agricultural export facility, costing more than US$31 million.
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