The Port of Cleveland continues to be an economic driver in greater Cleveland, with over 20,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in annual economic activity tied to the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor each year.
The port completed numerous major investments to its maritime operations in 2020 and is in the midst of several new ones this year.
Last year, the port completed a $10.36 million extension of the Cleveland Bulk Terminal iron ore tunnel. The 45 acre Bulk Terminal on Whiskey Island is equipped with an automated ship loader system that transfers iron ore and has railroad access.
The iron ore tunnel project:
- Extended the bulk terminal’s ore tunnel by 440 feet, making it the optimal length to accommodate 1,000 foot inbound shipments of taconite
- Minimized diesel equipment re-handling activities
- Installed infrastructure to blend two grades of taconite
- Improved worker safety and working conditions
- Updated outdated mechanical and electrical infrastructure
The project is expected to bring another million tons a year in cargo to the port.
The port also completed a $1.1 million cruise ship terminal processing center. The project converted the Seaman’s Service building, a short walk from where cruise ships dock, into a facility for U.S. Customers and Border Protection. Previously, the port set up large tents alongside the dock, but the government required a more permanent location.
While cruise ship traffic came to a halt during the pandemic, it was previously on the rise, with about 4,000 cruise ship passengers passed through the Port of Cleveland in 2019. Most cruises were coming from Canada, but that was changing, and the port was seeing more that originated in European cities.
This year, the port is moving ahead with $18.6 million in improvements to Docks 24 and 26. This project will raise and keep Dock 24 in service for the next 50 plus years and Dock 26 for the next 50 plus years. The two docks - each of them about 70 years old - handle 50% to 60% of the Port’s international cargo.
The project includes reconstructing the docks, rehabilitating the rail spur adjacent to Dock 24, install a new stormwater treatment system, and regrading and repaving the uplands area adjacent to the docks.
The port is also moving ahead with:
A $2.95 million rehabilitation and extension of its main gate. This project will increase cargo throughput capacity, lay a fiber utility network for technology improvements and improve security and efficiency of cargo movement.
- A more permanent $1.44 million US Customs & Border Protection Cargo Processing Facility
More information on the Port of Cleveland can be found at portofcleveland.com.