Port of Cleveland Ranks #1 in Annual Logistics Survey

Port of Cleveland Ranks #1 in Annual Logistics Survey

Port credits innovative European liner service and rail investments

CLEVELAND, OH (September 23, 2014) – The Port of Cleveland is ranked as providing the best customer satisfaction and performance excellence among Great Lakes ports and scored the highest among all ports in the nation, according to the annual “Quest for Quality Awards” given by Logistics Management magazine.

For more than three decades, “Quest for Quality” has been regarded in the transportation and logistics industry as the most credible measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence. Its scores come from port customers, “the buyers of logistics and transportation services who put these ports to work around the clock and around the globe,” said Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director of Peerless Media, LLC., the publisher of Logistics Management.  Full Press Release 2014.09.23


New stevedore for CEE in Cleveland also announced

AMSTERDAM, NS/CLEVELAND, OH (September 18, 2014) – The Port of Cleveland and Amsterdam-based Spliethoff Group announced today their mutual intent to add a second monthly vessel to the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE), the only scheduled ocean service for containerized and breakbulk freight operating between Europe and a Great Lakes port.  Full Press Release 2014.09.18

Port is full of opportunity

Port is full of opportunity

As published in Crain’s Cleveland Business on September 15, 2014

Goodyear announced recently that it’s no longer considering Ohio as an option for a major, new manufacturing plant that will supply markets in North and Latin America. Although this decision stings now, what’s good for Goodyear, which recently doubled down on its headquarters in Akron and employs over 3,000 Ohioans, is good for the Buckeye State. Rather than cry in our cereal, we should take heed of the considerations that drove Goodyear’s decision so we are in the best possible position to compete for investments going forward.

To that end, Goodyear’s news release cited “logistics [. . .] and access to a deep-sea port” in particular as “key factors” in the decision. With growing markets in South and Latin America, it’s understandable that a Midwestern location was not ideal for this plant. The added costs of shipping from Ohio were likely a factor in Goodyear’s statement that “locating in Ohio would add more than $50 million a year in costs over other locations.”

The good news is that Ohio’s global traders can, in fact, save money shipping directly from the Port of Cleveland. Many businesses in Ohio and the Midwest serve markets that are cost-effectively reached by a direct sea route from the Great Lakes. Since arriving here four years ago, I’ve steered our Port on a course to exploit this advantage for businesses with high sensitivity to port accessibility and other logistics factors.

Our primary challenge is increasing awareness because many companies have, regrettably, forgotten that Ohio does have access to global markets through the St. Lawrence Seaway.  When the Seaway was completed in 1959, the Great Lakes were hailed as America’s “fourth seacoast.” While the full potential of the fourth coast has yet to be fully realized, this all-water connection to the world does provide significant competitive benefits to Ohio businesses, and we have data and real-world results to prove it.

A recent study conducted under the auspices of the U.S. and Canadian Seaway management agencies and shipping groups reports that shipping goods from the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway is 24% more fuel-efficient than shipping by rail and 531% more efficient than by truck. These are material savings that can go straight to the bottom line.    

The Economist recently released an analysis of what makes cities economically competitive on a global scale. “Easy maritime access” was a key factor, with nine out of ten of the fastest risers in competitiveness being a seaport or having easy maritime access, while those losing competitiveness are lacking in this area.

For exactly this reason, we began the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE) ocean cargo service this year—a scheduled liner service for international freight. For the first time in decades, Ohio firms have a direct, scheduled option from the Port of Cleveland to the cargo hub of Antwerp, Belgium, which has onward connections to destinations worldwide.

Early adopters of our new service are saving time and money while reaching markets in Europe, Russia, Asia, and the Middle East. Users are reporting door-to-door transit times between Cleveland and Europe up to 10 days faster than shipping through an East Coast port.

Ohio is already a powerhouse in global commerce. The US Department of Commerce recently released figures indicating that firms in Northeast Ohio alone exported goods worth $18 billion in 2012, a figure that has grown significantly over the past five years. It’s our job to convince regional firms and others throughout the Midwest that ocean services based at the Port of Cleveland, including our new CEE service, add value to their global supply chain operations.

We know old habits die hard. It will take at least two shipping seasons for our CEE service to fully penetrate the market and stabilize financially.  We knew going in we had to play the long game.  Ports invest “patient capital” that can take years or even decades to result in job growth and new investments. That’s the essence of our mission.   

I hear some say some say shipping on the Great Lakes is obsolete or doesn’t matter anymore. The Goodyear decision tells us just the opposite is true—our Lake Erie and Ohio River ports matter now more than ever. With adequate support and the opportunity to pitch our capabilities, our ports will help Ohio win the future competitions for investments and jobs. That’s job one every day at the Port of Cleveland.

Keeping it Clean, Teaming with Downtown Cleveland Alliance

Keeping it Clean, Teaming with Downtown Cleveland Alliance

The Port of Cleveland is committed to preserving welcoming waterfronts that are clean, safe, and attractive for business and recreation. Our commitment is a focus of our 2011 strategic plan that guides us today. One major way we are achieving this goal is through our tandem workboats, Flotsam and Jetsam, which you can find traveling the Cuyahoga River or along the Lake Erie shore most days during boating season.

So far in 2014, Flotsam and Jetsam have removed over 65 tons of floating debris from the water and shoreline, including everything from more than 100 logs to plastic beverage bottles. The Port is proud to call the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) our partner in this work, and DCA’s industrious staffers serve as crew for the ships, performing the hard work of cleaning the lake and river.

We appreciate the dedication of DCA’s crews, and so we were glad to receive the following email recently from a local boater praising their efforts. We wanted to share this note with them and you to provide some well-earned recognition for the hardworking crews of Flotsam and Jetsam.  Take a look:

“I have been a boater on Lake Erie since the 1970′s. I am fortunate in the fact I was able to secure dock space at the NEW AND IMPROVED Edgewater Marina. Living on my boat, I am able to observe your vessels, FLOTSAM and JETSAM, and crewmembers Donnie, Zach, RJ, Rey and Doug.

I am compelled to send you this Email to notify you of their devotion and tireless efforts to keep our lake, river, harbors and waterways clear of the debris/trash that are inherent to this area. Day in and day out, I have observed the no less than ‘HEROIC’ efforts of these boats and crews as they remove the ‘hull busting, prop breaking’ logs, trash and debris making our waterways safer and enhancing the natural beauty of our shores and waterways here in Cleveland.


Thank-you Donnie, Zach, RJ, Rey, Doug for you devotion and efforts in this never ending battle to ensure the health of our water, the safety of us recreational boaters and the wildlife that call this part of Lake Erie HOME!!

Keep up the great work.”

It might go without saying, we at the Port of Cleveland do appreciate when our work is recognized by those we serve. •

By Jim White, Director, Sustainable Infrastructure Programs

Gateway to the World. This is Cleveland.

Cleveland-Europe ExpressCleveland is riding a wave of positive momentum. Whether it’s Gay Games 9, the Republican National Convention, or LeBron James’ homecoming, the common theme is we are a destination of choice. The Port of Cleveland is playing our part in this story of resurgence by making the region more attractive for global commerce through strategic investments.

That’s why we launched the Cleveland-Europe Express in April—the only non-stop, regularly scheduled international shipping service on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System. That’s why we invested in a rail infrastructure that links these ships to the national rail network. And that’s why we are fully committed to establishing Cleveland as the Great Lakes’ leader in maritime, logistics, and commerce.

There is clear and significant evidence that our efforts are working. The Cleveland-Europe Express (see video) is connecting goods moved through our Port to and from Europe, Russia, China, and many more intercontinental destinations. We’re seeing cargo shipped through Cleveland that normally bypasses us on it’s way to the eastern seaboard, the gulf coast, or other locales. In the world of shipping and logistics, we call this “discretionary cargo” – goods that can be routed through multiple ports competing against one another on cost, transit time, and other key considerations to the party paying the freight.

When drafting a strategic plan in 2011, it was clear that the Port of Cleveland was not competitive for discretionary cargo. Now, with our recent startup of the Cleveland-Europe Express and other investments, we are positioned to be the port of choice in the Midwest and Great Lakes.

We are competing for a much broader segment of the market than we have in decades, and the numbers show the results. Thus far in 2014, tonnage shipped through the Port is up 28% and number of ships at our docks is up 75%. We haven’t declared victory yet – we realize this is a process and the shipping market remains fiercely competitive – but the early returns are promising and suggest that with continued effort and strategic thinking, Cleveland can again be a hub for commerce in North America’s Heartland.

As Cleveland continues to attract national and global attention and investment, the Port of Cleveland is committed to doing its part to make our region more competitive, connecting it to new markets, and acting as a key asset when attracting and retaining investment and businesses. We’re excited to play a role in this evolving success story as the port of choice for the Midwest.

by William Friedman

Port of Cleveland Announces Best Month for New Liner Service

Cleveland Europe Express shows major increase in volume, while established maritime and development finance revenues also up substantially

CLEVELAND, OH (July 17, 2014) – The Port of Cleveland announced that its Cleveland-Europe Express, the dedicated monthly liner service that launched in April, had its best month to date in June. This start-up service doubled its revenues in June when compared to either April or May.

“The Port of Cleveland is booming and we are very encouraged by the performance of the new Cleveland-Europe Express service, which is still in its infancy,” said William D. Friedman, president and CEO. “The large increase in volume in June bodes well for the remainder of the year as we continue to offer companies and shippers throughout the interior U.S. a faster, more cost-effective and greener shipping alternative to Europe and the world.” 2014.07.17 Full Press Release 


Port of Cleveland Approves Financing for American Greetings HQ

CLEVELAND, OH (May 21, 2014) – The Port of Cleveland’s Board of Directors today approved up to $110 million in bond financing to assist the American Greetings Corporation in building a new world headquarters at Crocker Park in Westlake.

American Greetings is a manufacturer and retailer of innovative social expression products, such as greeting cards, gift packaging and other party goods. One of the world’s largest greeting card producers and founded in Cleveland more than 100 years ago, its leadership had considered regional and out-of-state headquarters for renovation or relocation. Its board ultimately decided to remain in Cuyahoga County with the help and financing cooperation of the City of Westlake, Ohio Development Services Agency, State of Ohio and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.  Full Press Release 2014.05.21 American Greetings


April 22, 2014 – CLEVELAND, OH- The Port of Cleveland welcomed on Tuesday the first vessel of the Cleveland-Europe Express cargo service from Antwerp, Belgium, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  On the vessel’s first round trip voyage, it is carrying cargo moving between five states and seven countries. 

The Cleveland-Europe Express is the only regularly scheduled international container and non-containerized cargo service on the Great Lakes. It is the fastest and greenest route between Europe and North America’s heartland, allowing regional companies to ship their goods up to four days faster than using water, rail, and truck routes via the U.S. East Coast ports.

Marc Krantz, chairman of the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors, said that the service is something that the Port of Cleveland’s board members and leadership have been working on since the board developed its strategic plan 2 years ago. “The service takes advantage of the manufacturing strength of Northeast Ohio and the geography of the Cleveland port itself as the first major stop in the U.S on the Seaway system,” Krantz said.  Full Press Release 2014.04.22 Liner Service


CLEVELAND, OH- The Port of Cleveland’s Board of Directors approved on Thursday, April 17, financing to help the next phases of Crocker Park.

The Port approved the issuance and sale of up to $7 million in bonds to develop new commercial, retail and residential components within Crocker Park, including five new restaurants, a new 110 room Hyatt Place premium hotel, and 386-space private parking garage.

The Port is a crucial partner in building Cuyahoga County’s future and plays an important role in stimulating economic development by connecting private investors with landmark projects throughout our region. Full Press Release 2014.04.17 Crocker Park

US Transportation Secretary Names Port of Cleveland CEO to Maritime Industrial Advisory Panel

CLEVELAND, OH- U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently appointed Port of Cleveland President and CEO Will Friedman to the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC).

Established in 2010, MTSNAC is comprised of leaders from commercial transportation firms, trade associations, state and local public entities, labor organizations, academics, and environmental groups that advise the Secretary on policies to ensure that the U.S. Marine Transportation System is capable of responding to projected trade increases.

“It is truly an honor to be selected by Secretary Foxx to serve on the MTSNAC.,” said Friedman. “I look forward to working closely with fellow Council members to assist Secretary Foxx and Maritime Administrator Jaenichen and their team to map out the future of marine transportation in our country.  I am a firm believer that maritime, as a component of our multimodal system, will contribute even more to long term economic growth as a high-capacity, low-cost, sustainable and safe mode of transport.”   Full Press Release 2014.04.16 MTSNAC Appointment


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