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Port of Cleveland Expects Energy Shipments to Rebound in 2017

Picture of a dredging operation in Cleveland's shipping channel
Shipments dropped by about 1 percent last year.

The Port of Cleveland is looking toward continued growth in 2017, after seeing a slight dip in cargo last year.

The Port says last year’s numbers are on-par with growth over the past several years, but showed a 1 percent drop due to a spike in tonnage in 2015. With the strong dollar cooling demand for goods from the U.S., shipments were down throughout the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Port spokesman Jade Davis says this year should see continued growth, with the Lake Erie wind farm utilizing the port as a staging area for construction. Davis says the timeline for that is still being worked out.

“Probably 2018 would be a more adequate date when we’ll start seeing significant traffic that will concern us, even though they may start working out there in the water in 2017.
“We expect again to continue to have more and more energy project cargo. And to continue to gain market share in that market. Especially as more and more natural gas plants and things like that are going to be built throughout Ohio and Western Pennsylvania with the shale gas booms that are really still going on there.”

Davis says he is also expecting to hear in the next month about the Army Corps of Engineers’ schedule for dredging the Cuyahoga River, which will allow ships to carry heavier loads to the port.