saw tonnage levels begin to normalize last year as ongoing supply chain kinks have continued to work themselves out, as well as an increase in high-value shipments and cargo traveling through its terminals. That’s according to Port Milwaukee’s 2022 annual report.
Last year, the overall tonnage shipped through Port Milwaukee saw a decrease, coming in at 2,272,972. That's down 3.2% from 2021, overall tonnage coming through the port was 2,348,419.
A total of 346 vessels stopped at Port Milwaukee in 2022, down 13.5% from 2021 levels when 400 vessels traveled through the port.
Port Milwaukee saw its net income increase from $518,193 in 2021 to $1.1 million in 2022.
"(Last year we) witnessed tonnage levels in Milwaukee Harbor begin to stabilize as pandemic-related effects fade,” said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson.
“An increased volume of high-value shipments and unique cargo are traveling through our terminals. Reinvestment in the Port’s infrastructure continues, and our commitment to environmental sustainability is stronger than ever.”
Port Milwaukee has been diversifying the type of cargo that comes through its terminals. This is attributed to a “significant increase” in high-value breakbulk and project cargoes that traveled through the port in 2022, according to the report.
Deliveries in 2022 included curved steel plates, brewery tanks, limestone blocks, “superyacht” pieces, and more.
“We are witnessing new maritime commerce opportunities with an increase of diverse breakbulk and project cargoes,” said Jackie Carter,
director of Port Milwaukee. “The significant level of steel shipments moving through our docks is promising, and the Agricultural Maritime Export Facility beginning operations in 2023 will support new economic activity.”
The report also touched on Port Milwaukee’s record-breaking cruise season
in 2022, which kicked off with a visit from the Viking Octantis cruise ship in May. Throughout the entirety of cruise season, 13,611 passengers visited the city, 33 stops between eight vessels were made, and approximately 16,000 pieces of luggage were handled.
“The Port received the full funding to begin construction of the South Shore Cruise Dock, which will accommodate more international cruise ships and passengers,” said Carter. “Federal funding awarded to Port Milwaukee for infrastructure upgrades will enhance safety, security, and operations.”
Redevelopment of Port Milwaukee’s South Shore Cruise Dock is scheduled to begin this spring after the city’s Common Council approved the remaining $2 million needed to start the project last November.
The South Shore Cruise Dock will serve as the future port-of-call for Seawaymax vessels such as the Viking Octantis.