Cargo shipped through Port Milwaukee dipped in 2018

Canadian labor dispute slowed salt shipping

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:12 am

The total amount of cargo shipped through Port Milwaukee in 2018 fell about 7 percent compared to 2017, according to a report presented to the Board of Harbor Commissions today.

Total cargo tonnage shipped through Port Milwaukee in 2018 was about 2.39 million, down from about 2.57 million in 2017.

The decline was mainly driven by a 12-week strike at a salt mine in Goderich, Ontario, which reduced the amount of salt shipped to Milwaukee and interrupted the stockpiling of salt that typically occurs at the port, according to the report. However, salt shipments to the port have increased significantly to start this year.

“Salt volume was down by 18 percent last year, but during the first seven weeks of 2019, ships have delivered salt weekly to Milwaukee,” said port director Adam Schlicht. “Port Milwaukee has remained accessible to our shipping and rail customers through the coldest parts of winter, and we are optimistic that 2019 volumes will rebound, finishing ahead of last year.”

Despite the tariffs placed on steel, aluminum and Chinese goods by the Trump administration, Saint Lawrence Seaway cargo, including raw materials and agricultural products, through Port Milwaukee rose 28 percent in 2018. Among the commodities contributing to the port’s strong cargo numbers were cement, steel and Wisconsin-grown grain. The port also saw increased use of its liquid cargo pier in 2018.

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Andrew Weiland
Andrew Weiland is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, Weiland is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, and son, Zachary. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching his son’s youth baseball and basketball teams.