Maritime & Logistics – Overview 

The Port of Cleveland is a customer-focused and cost-effective gateway for waterborne trade. We provide critical connections between Northeast Ohio and the global economy.

The Port handles a variety of cargoes including steel, wind turbine components and bulk products. Overall, Cleveland Harbor’s public and private terminals average 13 million tons of cargo annually. 

Location is a key advantage: 

  • FIRST major U.S. port of call on the Great Lakes for ships transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway System. 
  • GATEWAY to major Midwest markets including Cincinatti, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis & Chicago
  • Within an 8-hour drive of half of all U.S. households, businesses and manufacturing plants. 

Cost-effective and efficient facilities: 

  • 45-acre Cleveland Bulk Terminal with automated ship loader system that transfers 5,200 tons of iron ore per hour. CBT has Class 1 railroad and the capacity for 1,000-foot vessels. 
  •  80-acre general cargo operation with full seaway depth of 27’ maintained at all times. Facility has: 3 mobile cranes with 60-ton capacity each; one stationary crane with 150-ton capacity; two Class 1 railroads; substantial lay-down areas, and inside storage capacity. 

Additional services that result in a competitive advantage for customers: 

  • Logistics management expertise. 
  • Foreign-Trade Zone Grantee #40. The zone covers Cuyahoga County and parts of adjacent counties. 
  • Customized financing for a wide range of companies and non-profits seeking to build, expand or upgrade facilities and machinery. We have helped organizations secure nearly $2 billion in financing since 1993. 


Primary Cargoes 

Inbound: Iron ore, limestone, steel, heavy machinery and equipment, wind-energy components, other over-sized project cargo, and containers

Outbound: machinery, steel and containers

Intermodal Connections 

Water: The Port’s Cleveland Bulk Terminal handles raw materials that arrive by ship from other Great Lakes ports and travel up river on smaller vessels to companies dependent on all-water transit. 

Rail: The Port is serviced by two Class 1 Railroads: CSX & Norfolk Southern. All on-dock switching services performed by OmniTrax.

Highways: From the Port’s main gate on West 3rd Street, trucks have immediate access to State Route 2 and I-90. Quick access to I-77 and I- 71 are minutes away; The Ohio Turnpike (80) is 25 miles away. 

Potential for Strategic Maritime Growth 

The Port has space available to expand maritime activity and is pursuing opportunities to maximize its value to customers and the broader community. Current work is focused on developing these initiatives: 

  • Cleveland-Montreal container feeder service 
  • Opportunities to handle over-sized freight, including wind energy cargoes 
  • Passenger-oriented ferry service between Cleveland and Ontario, Canada
  • Truck-focused, cross-lake  ferry service between Cleveland and Ontario, Canada

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway is a low-cost marine super-highway and the world’s longest deep-draft navigation system. It extends 2,300 miles and borders eight states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) and two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Quebec). More than 100 commercial ports line the navigation channel, serving as gateways for waterborne commerce moving within the region or between North American and overseas destinations. Source: Marine Delivers. For more information about the economic benefits of the Great Lakes-Seaway navigation system, visit: