Whether it’s steel from Europe, a mining shovel to Africa or salt from South America, international commerce is an important part of the activity at the Port of Milwaukee. Ships calling on Milwaukee link to destinations around the globe through the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
In 2015, those connections will increase, as the Spliethoff shipping line brings its Great Lakes Sailings service to Milwaukee on a regular basis. Spliethoff’s vessels connect Milwaukee to Antwerp, carrying containers and break-bulk cargo. That service will complement Fednav’s long-established international shipping through the Port of Milwaukee.
A variety of factors influence the volume and types of cargo passing through Milwaukee’s docks, such as world economic conditions, currency valuations and commodity prices. Recent congestion at coastal ports and on U.S. railroads has made the Port of Milwaukee a particularly desirable alternative for companies moving cargo worldwide.
International commerce at the Port is more than raw materials and finished products; passengers arrive from overseas, too. A German vessel, the Hamburg, called on Milwaukee several times last year.
The Port of Milwaukee is a valuable resource for international shippers. As the region’s Foreign Trade Zone, the Port can assist businesses in efficiently managing the costs of tariffs and import duties. And a number of companies lease property from the port to stage or package their exports.
The Port of Milwaukee handles more than 3 million tons of cargo annually. And 2015 is shaping up to be another strong year as the Port continues its mission of promoting trade and adding transportation efficiency to the local economy.
-Paul Vornholdt is the director of the Port of Milwaukee.