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.