The Great Lakes international shipping season has yet to start, but already two ships have departed northern Europe headed for Milwaukee.
Both the Fednav ship Federal Barents and the Polsteam vessel Irma are in the North Atlantic now with port calls scheduled in North America, including Milwaukee.
The locks in the Montreal/Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway are set to reopen on April 2, and the Irma and the Federal Barents will enter the Seaway approximately one week later. Both vessels are carrying raw materials for manufacturing that will be unloaded at Port Milwaukee and transferred to rail cars or trucks for delivery.
“Port Milwaukee provides an important link for the industrial and agricultural sectors of the regional economy by connecting local producers with world markets,” said Adam Schlicht, Port Milwaukee Director. “Moving cargo by water adds efficiency and cost savings for farmers and manufacturers in the Milwaukee region.”
Port Milwaukee anticipates another strong year for international cargo. In 2018, inbound and outbound tonnage traveling through the St. Lawrence Seaway was up more than 25% compared to the previous year.
While the St. Lawrence Seaway is closed for about three months each year, Great Lakes shipping continues at Port Milwaukee. During January and February of this year, vessels carrying bulk commodities made more than two dozen stops at Milwaukee docks, transporting more than 300,000 tons of cargo.
Port Milwaukee is an economic entity of City government governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, a panel appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett and confirmed by the Common Council. It administers operations on the 467 acres that make up the Port. It promotes shipping and commerce throughout the region by providing access to domestic and international ships, rail, and over-the-road transportation.