Cleveland port earns Seaway Pacesetter Award

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The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority posted a 10 percent increase in international cargo during the 2011 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 on Thursday, March 29, presented the award to Will Friedman, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority president and chief executive officer, at an event hosted by the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

“The sustained strong economic performance by the port serves to highlight marine transportation’s importance for the city, the region and the country,” Johnson said. “Through its ongoing infrastructure improvements and forward looking strategic plan, the port is well positioned for further growth in 2012 and beyond.”

During the 2011 navigation season, the Port of Cleveland shipped 302,047 metric tons of cargo through the seaway, a 10 percent increase over the 2010 season, earning the port its 10th Pacesetter award. In 2011, the Port of Cleveland achieved an 81 percent growth in project cargo mostly attributed to its handling of windmill components, machinery and generators, and automotive presses; this was the first year the port has handled windmill component cargo. The cargo originated in Germany and was destined for Euclid, Ohio.

The Port of Cleveland is constructing more than one mile of new railroad track on the port, which will be operated by the Cleveland Commercial Railroad under a public-private partnership arrangement. This is the port’s largest infrastructure project in more than 10 years, which will enable intermodal connections for customers’ supply chains. The port also is pursuing new services including a cross-lake ferry and a container feeder service.