Press Releases

Port Announces 2021 Tonnage Numbers

Shippers Partner with Port of Cleveland to Solve Supply Chain Woes Port of Cleveland Volumes Surge in 2021 Due to Innovation, Planning & Execution

Cleveland, OH (January 26, 2022) - The Port of Cleveland saw a 69% increase in tonnage across its docks in 2021 compared to 2020. This surge was attributed to significant increases in non-containerized goods, containerized cargo, and iron ore shipments to the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works steel mill.

Early in 2021, the Port completed two major infrastructure projects that paved the way for the increased cargo volumes. First, the Port expanded its iron ore tunnel at the Cleveland-Bulk Terminal, providing additional capacity for the movement of iron ore.  Additionally, the Port opened a new modernized and expanded main gate at its general cargo facility, which allows for the more efficient movement of trucks, decreases wait times for drivers, and more efficiently moves cargo on/off Port property. The Port also reactivated the Foreign Trade Zone space at the general cargo terminal, leading to additional volumes and cost savings for numerous Port clients.

Cargo owners sought new solutions with the Port of Cleveland in 2021 due to continuing issues in the global supply chain. Container volume doubled compared to 2020 as shippers changed their routings from large coastal ports to alternative ports such as Cleveland.

General Cargo Terminal Volume

Includes steel, containers, project cargo, salt, and cement

  • A 57% increase over 2020 numbers
  • 649,324 metric tons - 2nd highest in last 10 years (only slightly behind 2015)
  • Containers handled doubled compared to 2020

Cleveland Bulk Terminal Volume

Includes iron ore and limestone throughput

  • A 71% increase over 2020 numbers
  • 6,943,139 metric tons

“Our cargo volumes bounced back in a big way in 2021 across the board, which indicates business is up at regional firms that depend on our Port,” said William Friedman, President, and CEO, Port of Cleveland.  “We are particularly pleased to see containerized cargo grow significantly because we’ve worked for years to position Cleveland as an alternative to congested coastal ports. Our momentum continues as we continue expanding Port capacity and services to meet the shipping needs of Northeast Ohio and beyond.”

Port of Cleveland Awarded $10.52m in State Maritime Grant Funding

Cleveland, OH (December 8, 2021) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) announces it has been awarded $10.52 million in infrastructure development grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Maritime Assistance Program (MAP). The grants will be utilized for the following projects in the amounts indicated and will provide leverage and match for more than $80 million in total funding for these five projects:

  • The Irishtown Bend Stabilization and Rehabilitation Project | $5,000,000
  • Rehabilitation of Docks 26 West and 24 | $946,884
  • S. Customs and Border Protection Facility | $870,933
  • Dock 20 North Paved Container Yard | $1,737,500
  • CHEERS Project planning & design | $1,970,000

“We applaud the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Maritime Assistance Program for supporting Ohio’s ports,” said William Friedman, President and CEO, Port of Cleveland. “With these investments we will continue to modernize our Port, making our region more competitive, mitigate urgent public safety concerns and enable major, new public amenities on our shorelines.”

Irishtown Bend Stabilization and Rehabilitation Project

The Port of Cleveland is leading the effort to stabilize Irishtown Bend to protect people, preserve jobs and enable development of a transformative new park on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The $5 million Ohio MAP grant, combined with other funding now secured, enables the Port to construct the stabilization elements in one phase and begin the work in 2022.  Total cost of the stabilization is estimated to be $50 million.

Rehabilitation of Docks 26 West and 24

The Port of Cleveland has embarked on a comprehensive modernization of Docks 26 West and 24, the heart of the Port’s General Cargo Terminal. Key elements of the modernization include critical maritime infrastructure investments, installation of fiber communications backbone, and elements which will allow the Port to advance efforts to decarbonize and electrify the terminal in the future.

The Ohio MAP funding enables the Port to complete important work related to storm water management which allows for the capturing and treatment of effluent storm water prior to being discharged into Lake Erie. Total project cost is $23.1 million.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Facility

Due to the growth in container cargo volumes moving in and out of the Port Cleveland, the Port must provide upgraded operational facilities for use by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) adjacent to the cargo terminals. This dedicated space will allow for USCBP staff to more efficiently clear imported cargo into the country, solidifying Cleveland as the preferred port for international trade on the Great Lakes. Total project cost is $2.0 million.

Dock 20 North Paved Container Yard

The Port will use this funding to modernize Dock 20 North as an additional container yard, increasing the Port’s container throughput capacity. The Port of Cleveland is already the only container port on the Great Lakes and this project will enhance Cleveland’s competitive advantage in handling containerized cargo. Total project cost is $3.8 million.

CHEERS Project to Ensure Sufficient Dredge Disposal Capacity

The Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study (CHEERS) is a major shoreline rehabilitation and resiliency project envisioned along Cleveland’s east side Lake Erie shoreline. The Port of Cleveland, along with its partners (City of Cleveland, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Transportation, Cleveland Metroparks, and Black Environmental Leaders) crafted a plan to utilize the beneficial use of dredge material to build the public open space and habitat, as well as protect critical infrastructure in the area. This funding, together with additional funds through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, will be used for further planning of the design and engineering of this vision. Total funds now available for the next phase of planning and design is $3.9 million.

“This investment from the Ohio Department of Transportation will help us, along with our partners, bring the CHEERS vision closer to reality,” said Linda Sternheimer, Director, Urban Planning and Engagement, Port of Cleveland. “Our vision is centered around embracing Lake Erie as a key asset for future generations, connecting Cleveland’s east side neighborhoods to the lakefront making the area resilient to our changing climate while ensuring our lakefront is safe for all to enjoy.”

Port of Cleveland to Provide Bond Financing for Fairfax Market

Cleveland, OH (November 10, 2021) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) Board of Directors unanimously approved financing for the newly announced Fairfax Market project. This project is part of the Innovation Square Fairfax Renaissance Plan for Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation (FRDC). The plan, to be developed on the 2.9 acres located at E. 105th Street and Cedar Avenue, comprises:

• 1st floor: A 40,000 sq. ft. grocery store
• 2nd-5th floors: Residential units
• 200-space parking garage

Of the total project cost ($59m), the Port of Cleveland will provide privately placed bond financing that raises $37m. Project partners include FRDC and Cleveland Clinic (who will support apartment leasing), in partnership with Meijer who will be entering the urban Cleveland market with this location. Cleveland-based Fairmount Properties will develop the project.

“This is exactly the type of project that is needed to support current residents,” said Pat Ramsey, Chair of the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors. “It fills a critical need in the marketplace and community while adding essential workforce housing to support our region’s largest job center. Overall, this is a transformative project for the Fairfax neighborhood.”

Port of Cleveland Welcomes New Board Chair, Aids Vaccine Distribution

Cleveland, OH (May 19, 2021) – In its May board meeting, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) welcomed their newly elected officers. Patricia Ramsey officially took over as Chairperson of the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors after the successful tenure of fellow Board member, Jan Roller.

“Our mission is to be an economic generator and promote economic development for Northeast Ohio. That means we must continue to be involved in the economic growth of businesses and work with developers that want to grow Northeast Ohio. As we support these development activities, we’re focusing on our neighborhoods throughout Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to aid in job creation,” said Patricia Ramsey, Board Chair, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. “Additionally, tied together with our economic development initiatives, are our maritime activities. With this, we’re working closely with our partners, vendors and unions to make sure that we are doing good business for the companies here in Northeast Ohio. Moreover, we’re ensuring that our local businesses have access to the Port and are able to use it for imports and exports tied to our region.”

Patricia Ramsey, Board Chair, Port of Cleveland

Over 20,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in annual economic activity are tied to the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor each year.

Board Chair Ramsey previously served as the vice-chair on the Port’s board. She is the Vice President of Community and Economic Development for Fifth Third Bank in Cleveland, Ohio. Ramsey has more than thirty years of experience in community and economic development roles within the financial services industry, managing community outreach and development activities for Northeastern Ohio and Columbus, Ohio in various roles. Board Chair Ramsey received her Bachelor’s degree in Urban & Environmental Studies and her Master of Business Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Last month, the Port Authority also welcomed Peggy Zone Fisher and Andrew Jackson to the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors.

As a recognized Cleveland business and community leader over the last 30 years, Peggy joined the Port’s Board in April. Previously, she was appointed as a National Commissioner of the White House Conference on Small Business by President Bill Clinton, chaired the Ohio Governor's Advisory Council for Travel and Tourism and led Ohio Governor Richard Celeste's China Trade Mission, and advised Cleveland Mayors George Voinovich, Mike White and Jane Campbell on travel and tourism issues. In March 2006, Peggy became the President & CEO of the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.

Andrew Jackson joined the Port’s board in April. He is the President and CEO of Elsons International, Owner and CFO of MAC Installations & Consulting LLC, Owner and Operator of AJ Automotive Group, Do-All Landscaping/Snow Plowing and Forest Glen Properties. Prior to his entrepreneurial engagements, Jackson spent over 30 years as a Partner with Accenture.

David Wondolowski was appointed Vice Chair after serving on the Port’s board since 2018. David is the Executive Secretary and Business Manager of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council.

After being appointed to the Board of Directors in 2018, J. Stefan Holmes was selected as the Board’s Secretary. Currently, J. Stefan Holmes sources and manages Public Fund relationships for First National Bank in the Ohio market. J. Stefan Holmes also has more than 27 years of banking experience in Northeast Ohio, including 25 years as Senior Vice President and Public Funds Officer with FirstMerit Bank.

The current board members are as follows:


  • Patricia Ramsey, Board Chair
  • David J. Wondolowski, Vice Chair
  • J. Stefan Holmes, Secretary
  • Margot Copeland
  • Paul Hoogenboom
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Darrell L. McNair
  • Jan L. Roller
  • Peggy Zone Fisher


Port of Cleveland to Offer COVID-19 Vaccine to International Crews

 The Port of Cleveland today launched a program for international vessel crews to get vaccinated when they come to Cleveland. Working with the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, the Port will provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine for international crew members as it can be difficult for crew members to access the vaccine during the shipping season.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is partnering with the Port of Cleveland for renovation of museum’s facilities

Cleveland, OH (February 11, 2021) – The Port of Cleveland is proud to partner with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, an Ohio nonprofit corporation and cultural, research and educational institution, by providing up to $75 million tax-exempt cultural facility bonds to assist with the financing of costs of acquiring, constructing, renovating, expanding, equipping and improving the facilities of the museum.

“The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a special place in the hearts of Clevelanders. For some, it’s the start of careers or new interests. For me, it was the site of the first date with my wife. Today, we are proud to approve this funding on behalf of our region,” said J. Stefan Holmes, a member of The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Board of Directors.

The museum’s continued commitment to Cleveland will create a positive impact in Cuyahoga County, Northeast Ohio and the State of Ohio. Currently, the museum employs 160 people, educates approximately 100,000 students per year and attracts over 300,000 visitors annually.

The funds raised through the bond issuance will help the museum expand these efforts with the addition of new education and collection spaces, the creation of a new visitor hall and new wing, the renovation of the existing exhibit space and existing building, upgrades to central utilities and other improvements to Museum facilities and related acquisitions.

In 2020, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History celebrated its 100th anniversary, honoring the integral role of the museum to the region’s quality of life, cultural and economic vibrancy, educational and scientific advancement, and as a leader in the region's conservation and sustainability efforts.

Extending beyond the region, the museum has been recognized as a global leader in scientific research for the past century. With vast collections containing more than five million research specimens and artifacts, it is Ohio’s largest museum devoted to the natural sciences and one of the top 10 natural history museums in the United States.

Port of Cleveland’s Community Investment Fund to Provide Support to Economically Vulnerable Neighborhoods

Cleveland, Ohio (November 18, 2020)The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) announced the launch of a Community Investment Fund (CIF) dedicated to economically vulnerable neighborhoods and their residents. The Port’s CIF will make grants to aid Cuyahoga County based nonprofit programs and organizations focused on workforce development, economic development, and community improvement / quality of life issues.

“The Port’s Community Investment Fund will help ensure that our agency’s traditional economic development and finance work provides equitable benefit throughout Cuyahoga County,” said Will Friedman, the Port’s President and CEO. “Our goal with the CIF is to leverage our resources and connect chronically disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities to greater opportunity.”

To fund the CIF, the Port Authority Board of Directors agreed to dedicate 10% of the fees generated each year by development finance projects to CIF grants. The Port’s traditional development finance work leverages its bonding capacity, tax-favorable status, and structured leasing to finance development projects and related infrastructure at more competitive rates.

“The Port’s Board of Directors know that our traditional development finance tools have had huge success generating development at scale, but we also need to play a role supporting community development efforts at the neighborhood level, many of which are not positioned to tap into our development finance tools,” said Darrell McNair, Chair of the Port’s Board of Directors CIF Committee. “These neighborhoods are full of opportunity, but face greater difficulty in attracting private capital, meeting underwriting standards, and capitalizing on momentum.”

To guide the grantmaking process, the Port’s board established a CIF committee that evaluated potential grantees based on amount of need, deliverables from the grant funds requested, and potential measurable impact. Based on the committee’s recommendation, the Port’s Board of Directors has approved grants of $50,000 to Phastar/Benjamin O. Davis Aviation and Maritime High School for its maritime and waterfront education programs and $100,000 to Neighborhood Connections to provide matching grants in Cleveland & inner-ring suburbs.

“The Port is thrilled to make these grants to Benjamin O. Davis Aviation High School and Neighborhood Connections,” said Margot Copeland, a member of the Port Board and the CIF committee. “The CIF is our way of making sure the Port is investing in economic development at all levels in the County, and we believe this first round of grants is an excellent way to launch the program.”

The Port of Cleveland Approves $50 Million for Sherwin-Williams Construction

Cleveland, OH (May 21, 2020) – The Port of Cleveland announced approval for up to $50 million in taxable lease revenue bonds to pay a portion of costs associated with the construction of The Sherwin-Williams Company’s new global headquarters as well as the Company’s new R&D center.

“We have these two very exciting projects ahead of us and it shows that COVID-19 can’t stop good things from happening in Cleveland,” said Darrell L. McNair, Board Member and Chairman of Real Estate and Finance Committee, The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Board of Directors.

Before officially deciding on Cleveland as the location for their global headquarters and Brecksville as the location for their new R&D facility, Sherwin-Williams, an inherent part of Cleveland for more than 154 years, conducted a national search to explore other potential sites.

“Ultimately, after a detailed analysis, the proposals from the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland and the City of Brecksville proved to be the most attractive in enhancing our ability to serve customers and retain and attract top talent over the long term,” said Julie Young, Sherwin-Williams Vice President, Global Corporate Communications.

The Company’s continued commitment in Cuyahoga County will create a significant positive economic impact in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio.

Upon construction, the two facilities will house more than 3,500 employees, adding a minimum of 400 jobs (11 percent increase to the Company’s current local workforce) at these facilities over time. Moreover, the City of Cleveland estimates that once the new global headquarters is occupied, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will receive an additional annual revenue estimated at $4 million from Sherwin-Williams.

Overall, the Company’s global headquarters project and R&D center project will call for a total combined investment of approximately $678.5 million. According to Young, the projects are in their early stages of construction planning with official groundbreaking potentially in the spring of 2021 and the Company’s transition into the new headquarters, at the earliest, in 2023.


About Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

The Port of Cleveland is one of the largest ports on the Great Lakes. Over 20,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in annual economic activity are tied to the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor each year. The Port of Cleveland is the only local government agency whose sole mission is to spur job creation and economic vitality in Cuyahoga County. The Port is an economic engine for the community, a key to Northeast Ohio's global competitiveness, and a crucial partner in building Cuyahoga County's future.

For more information, please visit:


Port of Cleveland Elects First Female Chair in 50 Year History; Chairwoman Supported by All Female Officers

Cleveland, OH (March 7, 2019) – For the first time in its 50 year history, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) has a female Chairperson leading the board of directors. The Board met for their monthly meeting to review projects and to elect their new slate of officers. Newly elected Chairwoman Jan Roller takes over for her predecessor Darrell L. McNair, today upon completion of his chairmanship.

New Port of Cleveland Board of Directors Leadership

The Port Authority also made history by appointing an all-female slate of officers; Director Patricia Ramsey was elected Vice Chair and Director Harriet Applegate was elected Secretary/Fiscal Officer. Chairwoman Roller graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and went on to establish herself as a leader in the regional law community. Chairwoman Roller has sat on boards and committees in service of the community throughout her career. Vice Chair Patricia Ramsey is Vice President of Community and Economic Development for Fifth Third Bank in Northeastern Ohio. Ramsey has more than 30 years of experience in community and economic development roles within the financial services industry. Secretary/Fiscal Officer Harriet Applegate currently serves as Executive Secretary of the North Shore Federation of Labor. Harriet has a passion for advocating for common sense economics and for involving working people in politics and policy. Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority President Will Friedman expressed his excitement at the new phase of leadership. “We are so proud of our board and our board leadership. All three new officers are very accomplished professionals, leaders and public servants, whom happen to be women. We are very excited to work with our new board leadership and look forward to a successful 2019 shipping season.”

New Cargo Development Partnership

Board of directors also discussed the Port of Cleveland’s new partnership with Logistec. Spokesmen from Logistec presented to the board their goals and vision for the partnership as the exclusive terminal operator for the Port of Cleveland general cargo terminal. On the elevated relationship with the company, Will Friedman said “We are glad to partner with Logistec with our joint goal of growing cargo volume and economic activity throughout Northeast Ohio and at the Port of Cleveland.”

The presence of Logistec as the operator of the general cargo terminal brings all maritime and logistics operations for the Port of Cleveland under one terminal operator. This provides all shippers with a seamless solution for all cargoes including: bulk commodities such as iron ore and stone as well as general cargo commodities including containerized cargo and breakbulk/project cargo.

About Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

The Port of Cleveland is one of the largest ports on the Great Lakes. Over 20,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in annual economic activity are tied to the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor each year. The Port of Cleveland is the only local government agency whose sole mission is to spur job creation and economic vitality in Cuyahoga County. The Port is an economic engine for the community, a key to Northeast Ohio's global competitiveness, and a crucial partner in building Cuyahoga County's future. For more information, please visit: