The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority posted significant increases in international cargo during the 2010 navigation season, earning it the prestigious Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. SLSDC Administrator Terry Johnson presented the award to Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Board Chair Robert Smith at a ceremony in Cleveland.
“This is a strong economic performance by an important member of the Seaway System,” said Administrator Johnson. “Through its ongoing infrastructure improvements and marketing strategy, the port is well positioned for further growth in 2011 and beyond.”
During the 2010 navigation season, the Port of Cleveland shipped 273,280 metric tons (mt) of cargo through the Seaway, a 64 percent increase over the 2009 season, earning the Port its 9th Pacesetter award. The Port of Cleveland reached 80 percent growth in its handling of project cargo business in 2010 compared to 2009.
“We are honored to receive this award and value our long-standing partnership with the SLSDC,” said Will Friedman, President and CEO of the Port. “We credit the growth in tonnage to both the rebound in the economy and our work to more aggressively market our assets and capabilities. One important result of our efforts is an increase in project cargo movement through the Port of Cleveland.”
The Port of Cleveland has been awarded a $3 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development, matched by $1 million of its own funds, that will be used to construct over a mile of new railroad track on the Port, enabling important intermodal connections for their supply chain. The Port is also seeking new services including a cross-lake ferry and a container feeder service.
The Pacesetter Award is presented annually to U.S. Great Lakes Seaway ports that register increases in international overseas cargo tonnage shipped through the Seaway during the navigation season. Originally known simply as the Pacesetter Award, the name change honors long-time Seaway trade analyst Bob Lewis who passed away in 2001.