Press Releases

Port Statement on Irishtown Bend Settlement

Cleveland, OH (March 28, 2023) – Today, the Board of Directors for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority voted 5-0 to approve Resolution 2023-12 authorizing the Port Authority to proceed with settlement of the Irishtown Bend litigation. Today’s Board action moves the Port Authority one step closer to delivering on its promise and commitment to ensuring the continued safety, welfare, and economic prosperity of our communities and businesses in and around the Cuyahoga River. A copy of the proposed settlement agreement can be found here. The agreement, which is still further subject to court approval, allocates the Port Authority’s current total responsibility and contribution in the settlement to $360,000.00, which was previously deposited in escrow with the Probate Court and are funds previously appropriated for that purpose. The Port Authority will have no role in any billboard relocations or further development post-stabilization. The Port Authority intends to proceed to construction, which we hope to begin this Summer.

Public Notice - Special Meeting of the Board of Directors 3/28

Cleveland, OH (March 24, 2023)

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Directors of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County
Port Authority will hold a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors at the following date, time
and location:

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 3:00 pm EST
Port of Cleveland Conference Center
1100 W. 9th Street, 1st Floor
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

For the purpose of consideration of Resolution No. 2023-12 authorizing and approving the
execution and delivery of a settlement agreement in connection with the Irishtown Bend
Stabilization & Rehabilitation Project and further authorizing the expenditure of funds.

Port of Cleveland advances critical Irishtown Bend Rehabilitation and Stabilization project to construction phase

Port of Cleveland advances critical Irishtown Bend Rehabilitation and Stabilization project to the construction phase

Board green-lights contract with construction manager

Cleveland, OH (March 9, 2023) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s (Port of Cleveland) Board of Directors approved Thursday a construction contract that moves the critical Irishtown Bend Rehabilitation and Stabilization project forward.

“The Port of Cleveland is taking a key step forward today as we move to the construction phase of the critical Irishtown Bend Rehabilitation and Stabilization project,” said Linda Sternheimer, Director of Urban Planning & Engagement at the Port of Cleveland. “We’re pleased to progress with construction efforts that prioritize public safety and our region’s economy. Extensive analysis has made it clear that there is a great threat if we don’t act swiftly to stabilize Irishtown Bend’s hillside.”

The Port of Cleveland’s contract with Wade Trim, Inc., and its partners totals $3,643,727. This agreement is the result of a public request for qualifications by the Port, which determined Wade Trim Inc., in partnership with G. Stephens Inc., Resource International, Inc., and KS Associates, Inc., to be the most qualified team for the project.

As the Port moves towards bidding the project out for construction, Wade Trim will oversee onsite construction and inspections acting in the capacity as an owner’s representative. Wade Trim committed to sourcing 42 percent of the project’s work from minority- and female-owned businesses.

The Port of Cleveland has led efforts to stabilize the Irishtown Bend hillside. Located between W. 25th St. and the Cuyahoga River, Irishtown Bend’s unstable hillside poses an immediate threat to public safety and property in the area. Given the potential for a landslide to disrupt commercial shipping traffic on the Cuyahoga, thousands of maritime jobs could be impacted, and an adverse economic effect could be felt throughout the region.

Other items of note during Thursday’s meeting include:

  • The board approved $9,105,000 in taxable revenue bonds (known as “TIF Bonds”) for Skyline International Development to complete the renovation of the Renaissance Hotel on Public Square. The historic hotel is set to become an Autograph by Marriott that will be known as The Cleveland Hotel.
  • J. Stefan Holmes, Peggy Zone Fisher, and Darrell L. McNair were re-elected for another year by the board to their positions as Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, respectively.

Port of Cleveland solidifies position as Great Lakes’ reliable international shipping hub in 2022

Port of Cleveland solidifies position as Great Lakes’ reliable international shipping hub in 2022

Port responded to supply chain challenges, registered strong general cargo and container shipping volume increases

Cleveland, OH (February 9, 2023) –During its February board meeting on Thursday, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) announced its tonnage numbers for the 2022 shipping season. Comparing shipping volumes last year to the 2021 season, the Port registered tonnage increases for general cargo and containerized goods while there was a decrease in bulk tonnage through the Cleveland Bulk Terminal (CBT).

“Our overall tonnage numbers indicate that the Port of Cleveland proved to be well-positioned to overcome the supply chain challenges the world faced in 2022,” said Dave Gutheil, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cleveland. “Even as supply chain issues resolve, we’ve established ourselves on the world stage as a reliable shipping hub.”

General cargo tonnage in 2022 totaled 525,486 metric tons, a jump from 421,755 metric tons in 2021. Last year’s total was also ahead of the Port’s five-year average of 402,886 metric tons. Containerized goods shipped to Cleveland more than doubled, with 2022 seeing 9,978 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) compared to 4,810 TEUs the year prior. This was also well above the five-year average of 4,956 TEUs. These increases can be attributed to factors including high demand for steel in the local market, high transatlantic container demand, and favorable shipping rates. Congestion at the U.S. coastal ports was also a key factor that created an opportunity for the Port of Cleveland to present itself to global shippers as a viable shipping alternative. While tonnage at the CBT rebounded during the second half of the 2022 season, the Port moved 4,896,310 metric tons compared to 6,943,139 metric tons in 2021. This was slightly below the five-year average of 5,327,938 metric tons. The decrease is a result of ongoing maintenance on the furnace at Cleveland Cliffs’ steel mill.

Also on Thursday, the board approved a $105,000 grant award to Argonaut (formerly PHASTAR) from the Port Community Investment Fund. This funding will support the aviation and maritime program’s educational, safety, and youth workforce training programs at Davis Aviation & Maritime High School.

“I’m pleased to bolster our ongoing support for Argonaut, which is educating and preparing the next generation of our industry’s workforce,” said Jade Davis, Sr. Vice President, Public Affairs & Energy Policy at the Port of Cleveland. “Support from our Community Investment Fund will go towards helping the program reach its goal of doubling its student participation.”

Furthermore, Thursday’s board meeting was an opportunity for the Port to recognize the Seamen’s Service volunteers in Cleveland. These dedicated volunteers greet international maritime workers who arrive at the Port and help assist them with getting around town and obtaining the supplies they need before returning to their vessel.

Economic Value of Shipping in Cleveland tops $4.7 billion, Up $1 billion from 2015

Economic Value of Shipping in Cleveland tops $4.7 billion, Up $1 billion from 2015

Development Financing Supports $4.8 billion in Personal Income since 2010

Cleveland, OH (November 3, 2022) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority (Port Authority), also known as the Port of Cleveland, has completed an update to a key report on the economic value of cargo shipping through Cleveland Harbor including the Port Authority docks and private industry on the Cuyahoga River. The report also assesses the economic impacts of development financing services offered by the Port Authority.

The economic analysis of maritime cargo used data from 2021, which was compared to the Port’s last economic impact report released in 2016 using 2015 data. The methodology and data from the two reports are highly comparable.* Both reports were prepared by Martin Associates, the nation’s leading provider of seaport economic impact assessments.

The report finds that the total value of economic activity in the region that depends on or is related to maritime shipping increased by more than $1 billion compared to 2015, reaching $4.7 billion in 2021. The total number of jobs attributable to shipping topped 22,000 in 2021, a 10% increase from 2015. Total personal income in 2021 increased $368 million to $1.8 billion, up 25% from 2015. Business revenue earned by firms providing cargo and vessel handling services totaled $691 million in 2021, up from $514 million in 2015, a 34% jump. Taxes paid to state and local governments attributable to cargo shipping topped $240 million in 2021.

Stefan Holmes, Chair of the Port Authority board of directors, said, “we are very pleased to see these numbers up sharply from 2015, even in the face of the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. The Port’s mission is to grow jobs and commerce and foster economic vitality. This report card shows progress on all fronts”.

The report also calculated the construction employment person-hours, personal earnings, and taxes based on the total construction cost of projects that received Port Authority financing via the issuance of project revenue bonds and other types of Port-issued bonds. Since 2010, the total construction cost of projects financed utilizing Port bonds totals $6.2 billion**. This construction spending generated 161,283 person-hours of work in the construction industry, $4.8 billion in personal earnings, and $614 million in taxes paid to state and local governments from 2010 to 2021.

Will Friedman, President and CEO of the Port Authority, commented, “This report shows, once again, that commerce through Cleveland Harbor remains a pillar of the regional economy and is growing. Shipping and construction jobs that are catalyzed by Port bonds pay good wages and support families throughout our County and region. We’re proud to support these sectors and we are committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Port-related economy in every way we can.

*The methodology used to calculate taxes paid was changed from 2015, therefore these figures are not strictly comparable between 2015 and 2021.

**The total cost of construction on projects financed by the Port is used to calculate economic impacts. This total exceeds the amount of funds raised by Port bonds due to other sources of debt and equity for most transactions. In most cases, Port bonds are the largest source of capital for the project.


Port of Cleveland Awarded $27 Million Federal Infrastructure Improvement Grant

Port of Cleveland Awarded $27 Million Federal Infrastructure Improvement Grant

Cleveland, OH (October 28, 2022) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) announced it has been awarded a $27,223,711 grant to improve cargo handling efficiencies, modernize and expand its electric, and stormwater infrastructure. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Port Infrastructure Development Program, which is administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration.

“We appreciate Northeast Ohio’s congressional delegation, Secretary Buttigieg, and MARAD Administrator Rear Admiral Phillips (US Navy, Ret.) for recognizing the importance of investing in the Port of Cleveland, and more broadly, Northeast Ohio’s economy,” said William D. Friedman, President and CEO of the Port of Cleveland. “By enhancing our port’s operations and improving our infrastructure, this grant will help create quality local jobs while bolstering our region’s competitiveness on the global stage.”

The Project will improve the Port’s largest warehouse (Warehouse A), continue the implementation of the Port Authority’s Stormwater Master Plan that seeks to improve the quality of stormwater discharging into Lake Erie, make necessary electrification investments to prepare the Port for a zero-emissions future, and construct a new on-Port maritime learning and resource center to support hands-on learning programs that prepare Davis Aerospace & Maritime High School students for employment opportunities in the maritime industry.

This project will make key steps towards improving the quality of stormwater discharging from the Terminal into Lake Erie and lay the groundwork for the Port’s electrification and emissions reduction efforts,” said Nicholas LaPointe, Director of Planning & Capital Development at the Port of Cleveland.

This funding will have a significant regional economic impact given that the Port of Cleveland is the first major U.S. port of call on the Great Lakes. For ships transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway System, Cleveland is a gateway to major Midwest markets such as Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Chicago.

CHEERS Project Advances to Design Phase

CHEERS project advances to design phase

Transformational lakefront project enters design phase following Port of Cleveland board’s contract approval

Cleveland, OH (October 12, 2022) – In its October board meeting on Thursday, the Port of Cleveland’s Board of Directors approved a $3.75 million contract with Arup Engineering to undertake the design and permitting services needed to proceed with the transformational Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Strategy (CHEERS) project.

“We’re excited to be moving forward into the design phase of this transformational and vital project that will benefit Northeast Ohio communities for generations to come,” said William D. Friedman, President and CEO of the Port.

CHEERS project partners include the City of Cleveland, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Black Environmental Leaders Association, Cleveland Metroparks and the Port of Cleveland. Work is funded through a combination of matching funds provided by each partner and grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s National Coastal Resilience Fund and the Maritime Assistance Program.

 “We’re thrilled to move the CHEERS project into the design phase and create a more resilient, equitable and prosperous lakefront,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman. “The CHEERS project will be transformational for Cleveland’s East Side by protecting critical infrastructure, improving park access, and expanding natural habitat along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Arup was chosen after a request for proposal was released in March and a review of the submissions was made by CHEERS partner organizations, determining that Arup was the most qualified firm for the project.

Ohio Supreme Court affirms siting board ruling that allows Lake Erie wind turbine project to proceed

Cleveland – August 10, 2022 – A proposed six-turbine wind energy project in Lake Erie received a favorable decision from the Ohio Supreme Court which today ruled the project may proceed. The Court held the Ohio Power Siting Board properly issued a permit that allows construction of the project, dubbed Icebreaker Wind, to move ahead. Icebreaker is projected to have a $253 million local economic impact and create more than 500 jobs.
Writing for the Court’s 6-1 majority decision, Justice Jennifer Brunner explained that the siting board collected the necessary research to allow Icebreaker to begin construction, while also requiring more data before the company can operate the turbines.

“Rather than requiring Icebreaker to resolve those matters before issuing the certificate, the board determined that the conditions on its grant of the application were sufficient to protect birds and bats and to ensure that the facility represented the minimum adverse environmental impact,” Justice Brunner wrote.

Today’s ruling provides the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) additional certainty so that it can market Icebreaker’s power to potential customers. One-third of the power is already under contract with the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County and with its permit secure, LEEDCo can now focus on marketing the remaining two-thirds of the electricity it will produce.

Will Friedman, President and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, said the ruling – while expected – was nonetheless welcome news.

“The Court’s decision preserves the economic potential this project can unlock for the region.” Friedman said. By one estimate, there will be $70 billion in the offshore wind business pipeline in the U.S. by 2030.

“Other states are nipping at our heels to attract offshore wind and its economic benefits. We don’t want to squander this opportunity and let 15 years of work slip away to other states eager to capture market share.”

Icebreaker Wind has faced unprecedented review from regulators for over a decade, and has now received the necessary approvals from more than a dozen local, state and federal agencies—as well as sign-off from the state’s highest court. The project has also overcome a number of obstacles – many of them placed in the project’s path by fossil fuel interests.

The Supreme Court challenge was presented by two residents which, as exposed in court records, were bankrolled by Murray Energy, which prior to bankruptcy billed itself as the biggest coal company in the country. Today’s opinion stated that the residents “have not shown that the (Power Siting) board’s decision to issue the certificate subject to conditions was unlawful or unreasonable.”

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb said he believes renewables like Icebreaker Wind bring “a great opportunity to grow the wind industry locally as well as provide access to renewable energy for businesses and residents of Cleveland and the region. This project has always been a win-win for our economy and for our environment. Let’s position ourselves to be a leader, not a follower, to other states.”

LEEDCo Board Chairman Ronn Richard, CEO of the Cleveland Foundation, said Ohio has no choice but to embrace the energy transition to meet the state’s power needs. He noted Intel’s decision to build the world’s largest computer chip factory near Columbus includes a commitment to power 100% of its operations with renewable energy. Other companies in Northeast Ohio and throughout the state have also set ambitious renewable targets.

“We’re pleased with today’s ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court,” Richard said. “The Cleveland Foundation has supported Project Icebreaker from its inception because this is about more than clean energy – this is about a healthy economy and a healthy community. Project Icebreaker shows that Northeast Ohio – and the entire state of Ohio for that matter – is open for businesses.

“This decision will create jobs, attract talent from outside our region and retain the best and brightest minds from right here in Ohio,” he added. “It also shows that we’re committed to improving health outcomes for Ohioans by cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink. It’s our hope that LEEDCo can now resume selling the remainder of the power and turn this dream into a reality.

About Icebreaker Wind

Icebreaker Wind is anticipated to create over 500 jobs and pump $253 million into the region’s economy. Ohio already has the largest wind energy manufacturing base of any state in the US, according to the American Wind Energy Association. More than 275 manufacturing companies have expressed interest in being part of the project.

The project has received approvals from agencies including the Ohio EPA, the US Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, the US Coast Guard, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Power Siting Board. It is endorsed by the Ohio Environmental Council, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund, bipartisan officials from around the state, and others.

Nine miles from shore, the turbines would have minimal visual impact and not be visible on most days. On a clear day, a person standing on the downtown Cleveland lakeshore holding their arm out would see turbines no taller than half a thumbnail. The small project would only occupy .000002% of Lake Erie’s surface area.

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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.”