Great Lakes Ports’ Director Outlines Infrastructure Priorities

New infrastructure investments will be needed to support U.S. Great Lakes ports and their expansion, says Steve Fisher, executive director, American Great Lakes Ports Association (AGLPA).

The ports are seeing an increase in shipments of wind turbine components, some expansion of container cargoes and continued shipments of steel products and exports of agricultural products.

At the same time, a May report in Maritime Exchange has noted new containership services at the Great Lakes ports of Duluth, Minnesota, and Cleveland, Ohio:

“The rise in fuel prices has prompted renewed interest in expanding container shipping at America’s Great Lakes ports, like Duluth and Cleveland. There is potential for Port of Duluth to develop containerized dry bulk agricultural exports to Europe, where growing numbers of customers are willing to take delivery of containers of agricultural produce.”

The report went on to explain: “The Port of Cleveland played an instrumental role in developing viable container shipping between Europe and the Great Lakes when it introduced a direct service to Antwerp. A comparatively small container ship of under 1,000 TEU has feasibly carried containers between Antwerp and Cleveland, with rates that compete with the alternative option – a mega-size container ship sailing to Port of Newark followed by high-cost railway connection to Cleveland. The Port of Duluth involves an even greater railway distance (1,250 miles), making direct Duluth – Europe container shipping potentially more attractive.”


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