The Port of Milwaukee reported a 34.5 percent increase in foreign cargo traffic in 2012.
More than 210,000 metric tons of cargo traveled to and from Milwaukee via the St. Lawrence Seaway or the inland river system to overseas ports.
Steel makes up much of the cargo traveling by ship to or from Milwaukee. It is used locally in manufacturing and large finished goods, which are shipped globally.
“The Port of Milwaukee serves businesses in our region by providing cost effective ways to move raw materials and finished goods,” said Paul Vomholt, Port operations and trade director. “An increase in
this measure of foreign trade suggests both positive economic trends and a greater appreciation of what the Port of Milwaukee offers.”
This was the first time in decades Milwaukee has sent a U.S. flagged cargo vessel overseas with locally manufactured goods, the Port said. The Maersk-Illinois carried two P&H mining shovels to Siberia and the BBC Houston also transported a shovel.
While there was an overall tonnage decline in 2012, it was the direct result of mild weather in the 2011-2012 winter. As a result, less salt and coal was shipped to the Port.
The Port of Milwaukee is an economic entity of the City of Milwaukee and is governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners. The members are appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett and confirmed by the Common Council.
It operates 467 acres that comprise the Port, promotes shipping and commerce and manages Foreign Trade Zone #41, which provides economic benefits for companies involved in international trade.