Port of Cleveland

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.

How to Ship to the Great Lakes


From the earliest days of settlement in America, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have been used to move cargos from America’s Heartland to the world — and vice versa.

In fact, the origin of Great Lakes shipping began in the 1800s with the industrialization of the Midwest. When farmers, miners and loggers of the region needed to move their goods, they turned to Great Lakes fleets to serve their industries. In turn, this helped develop thriving port cities in America, like Cleveland.

In present day, ports located in the Great Lakes region, like the Port of Cleveland, handle cargos from across the world, supporting major industries that are critical to the global economy, such as agriculture, automotive, construction and energy.

For businesses across the globe, the same advantages that existed at the genesis of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River shipping exist today.

Ultimately, a faster door-to-door transit, ample capacity and direct access to a market containing half of all U.S. households and manufacturing means that products reach their final destination before the competition.

So, how does shipping to the Port of Cleveland actually work?

Shipping to the Port of Cleveland from anywhere in the world is simple. In fact, it’s so simple we can break it down to three easy steps.

As an example, let’s track a shipment that originates in Europe, specifically in Antwerp, Belgium.

Step 1: Containerized or non-containerized cargo is loaded on a vessel

Cargos are loaded on a vessel and prepared for shipping. These vessels, like The Spliethoff Group’s — our vessel partner for the Cleveland Europe Express, can carry more than 70,000 tons of cargo in a single voyage. Just for comparison, it would take 2,800 trucks to do the same exact work of one vessel.


In addition to simplifying the supply chain by using water transport, the size of these vessels also offers economic and environmental benefits by saving on fuel costs and, more importantly, releasing fewer emissions along the way.

Step 2: The vessel crosses the Atlantic Ocean and arrives at the Port of Cleveland

The map above shows a typical shipping route from a city in Europe, like Antwerp, to Cleveland in America.


Once the vessel leaves the port of origin, it takes an all-water route across the Atlantic Ocean and through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system until it arrives at the first major U.S. port of call, the Port of Cleveland. In total, the trip between Cleveland and Antwerp has an average sailing time of 13 days.

When you compare the timing of the same trip from Europe to other ports, like those on the east coast, you’ll find that shipping to the Port of Cleveland is actually 5-10 days faster. That means getting products in front of customers ahead of the competition.

Curious why it’s so much faster? It comes down to added efficiencies and capacities.

When cargo arrives at the Port of Cleveland, our terminal operator, LOGISTEC, handles the shipment, which can include bulk and general cargo such as breakbulk, intermodal containers and project cargo.

Ultimately, this partnership reduces the amount of time cargos are stuck sitting at a port, speeding up the shipping process from origin to end-user.

Just how much faster does this make shipping to the Port of Cleveland? Actually, a lot.

The span of time a vessel unloads at the Port of Cleveland is minimal, typically just over two days. Compare the same process at other ports, like U.S. east coast, and you’ll find that the Port of Cleveland unloads cargo about three to five days faster.

Simply put, while other ports have vessels sit at the dock with your cargo, we keep it moving to its final destination.

Step 3: Your cargo is connected to its final destination

Once the cargo is moved from water to land, it’s connected to the final user. The Port of Cleveland’s geographical location offers direct access to its hinterlands (shown below) — major U.S. markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan (i.e., Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit and Pittsburgh) — all within just one day of trucking.


Why is the Port’s geographic location so important to businesses? Half of all U.S. households, businesses and manufacturing plants are located within an 8-hour drive of the port. That means access to prime markets faster and more efficiently.

To connect your cargo, the Port of Cleveland has strong, locally established multimodal solutions, including an intermodal network of railroads and inland ramps or terminals where containers can be drayed, two Class 1 Railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern. OmniTRAX, a national short-line railroad, provides all switching services on port property, and immediate highway access for truck routing and drayage.

Are you ready to ship to the Great Lakes?

Work with the Port of Cleveland — the premier port on the Great Lakes. We’re your business’s one-stop for shipping, logistics, capacity and access solutions.

Contact us today at 216.241.8004 or learn more on our website.