Port of Milwaukee earns award for increase in international tonnage

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Port Of Milwaukee

The Port of Milwaukee posted significant increases in international cargo over the 2009 navigation season, earning it the Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. SLSDC Administrator Terry Johnson presented the award to Eric Reinelt, Milwaukee’s port manager, at a ceremony in Milwaukee.

“This is a strong performance by a vital member of the Seaway System,” Johnson says. “The Port of Milwaukee has done an outstanding job of marketing themselves to current and prospective shippers.”

The Port of Milwaukee moved 318,000 million metric tons of cargo through the Seaway, a 22 percent increase over the 261,000 metric tons posted in 2008. Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest port, was one of only two ports in the U.S. Great Lakes Seaway System to post gains last year.

“Milwaukee has always looked to the Seaway as a vital marine trade route for moving manufactured and agricultural goods to market and receiving essential imports,” Reinelt says. “That was especially true in 2009 as we saw an increase of 75 percent in grain shipments.” The Port of Milwaukee received 94,000 metric tons of general cargo through the Seaway last year while shipping out almost double that amount in grain.

This year’s award marks the ninth time the Port of Milwaukee has won the Pacesetter Award, which is presented annually to U.S. Great Lakes Seaway ports that register an increase in international tonnage shipped through the Seaway when compared to the previous navigation season. Originally known simply as the Pacesetter Award, the 2002 name change honors longtime Seaway trade analyst Bob Lewis.