Worth A Thousand Words

Port director shares passion with award-winning photographs.

Paul LaMarre III, director of the Port of Monroe, captured this photo of the Interlake Steamship Company’s M/ V Hon. James L. Oberstar. The photo is part of a package of LaMarre’s pictures that was awarded first place in the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership’s second annual photo contest. [COURTESY PHOTOS BY PAUL LAMARRE III]

 

Paul LaMarre III knows that a picture really is worth a thousand words.

The director of the Port of Monroe has a passion for the freighters, tugboats and barges that traverse the unforgiving waters of the Great Lakes. It’s a love that he inherited from his father, Paul LaMarre Jr. It’s an affection that was fostered by a lifetime around the water.

Like his father, LaMarre also has a passion for sharing his love of these vessels through his artwork. The port director was honored recently by the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership, which awarded a package of his photos with the first- place prize in their second annual photo contest.

Two of the winning photos were of the Interlake Steamship Company’s M/ V. Hon. James L. Oberstar, while the third was a picture of the M/ V. Gagliarda unloading at the Port of Monroe on her maiden Seaway voyage. Several other photos taken by LaMarre received honorable mention recognition.

“ It’s a blessing to have the access that allows me the opportunity to try to bring people closer to the action, let’s say,” LaMarre said. “ Everybody has their own unique niche. My niche has been getting vessels underway, open lake, which nobody else has really been doing.”

LaMarre has been photographing ships since he was 5. His father is a renowned figure in the Great Lakes maritime industry and an accomplished painter and photographer of the lakes and the vessels that call them home.

“ I always say to this day, even at the port, I just want to be like my dad when I grow up and make him proud,” LaMarre said. “ I can tell you that I am as excited to show my dad a good boat picture that I have captured today as I was when I was a little kid.”

The tools LaMarre uses today to capture his breathtaking images are a far cry from the clunky cameras of his childhood. LaMarre uses a drone- mounted camera to capture photos of vessels underway.

“ Right now there’s only myself and one other guy who are getting the pictures with the drone off of a moving platform,” he said. “I was the first one to do it, fly it off a moving ship or tug and then have to recover it when you’re still on your way.”

 

Paul LaMarre III was just 5 when he started photographing boats. The director of the Port of Monroe recently won first place in the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership’s second annual photo contest.

 

While LaMarre’s unique technique allows him the opportunity to obtain truly one of- a- kind images, it’s not without its risks. LaMarre said he’s on his fifth drone and he’s ruined countless sets of propeller blades as he’s worked to fine- tune the process.

“ Some SD cards are at the bottom of Lake Erie and Lake Huron at this point,” he said. “ It is nerve- wracking every time that you recover the drone when you’re in the middle of the lake and you just had it out hundreds, if not thousands of feet from the ship. To get it back aboard has not come without a very challenging learning curve, which could include almost taking your finger off or almost taking your head off and going through a lot of propeller blades.

“ In the beginning, the best bet was to just get the drone above the vessel and drop it.”

The first time LaMarre successfully utilized his drone system was aboard the Oberstar in 2018. The ship holds a special place in his heart. He and his wife are good friends with not only its current owner, captain and crew, but also William Snyder III, the man who in 1959 was commissioned to build the vessel that was then known as the Shenango II.

LaMarre and his wife have taken two leisure trips on the Oberstar, which is when he took his award-winning photographs of the vessel.

 

Paul LaMarre III’s award-winning photograph of the M/ V Gagliarda as it unloads at the Port of Monroe on its maiden Seaway voyage. [COURTESY PHOTOS BY PAUL LAMARRE III]

 

“That boat is so special to me,” he said “It means a great deal, and I hope to capture the best images of her sailing career. She’s the only ship that I’d really take a trip on that was, quite frankly, for my own enjoyment because that connection to that vessel is so special. She’s the one.”

Through his photography, LaMarre hopes to share his passion for ships with people who are not able to have the intimate relationship with the Great Lakes that he has enjoyed his entire life. To that end, he posts at least one photo a day to his Facebook page to continue to engage residents interested in the Port of Monroe.

“ We are very limited in our ability to grant access to interested and enthusiastic members of the community, because of security restrictions now more than ever,” he said. “ Ultimately it’s Monroe’s port, and my goal is to consistently operate a purely public agency as a nonprofit, and to do it in a manner that we drive transportation- related cargo and commerce that creates jobs and generates tax revenue that will hopefully lead to a better quality of life for the citizens of Monroe.

“ I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to lead this organization, (and) to do something I feel is upholding family tradition and history and then at the same time serve (the) community.”

“ It’s a very humbling and fortunate position to be in,” he added.

 

Paul LaMarre III, director of the Port of Monroe, captured this photo of the Interlake Steamship Company’s M/ V Hon. James L. Oberstar. The photo is part of a package of LaMarre’s pictures that was awarded first place in the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership’s second annual photo contest.

 

 

Source: Monroe Evening News

Great Lakes Ports Work On Building Cargo Diversity

Project cargo’s growing diversification role

Throughout the vast Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system in the United States and Canada, most ports seek to diversify their customer base by developing new business beyond traditional bulk markets. Front and center in their efforts are project cargoes, especially wind energy components destined to meet the rising demands of utilities. On the horizon, too, is a project in Ohio that could soon become the first offshore wind facility in the Great Lakes.

 

Wind energy has been a key component of the Port of Duluth’s diversification strategy.

Wind Energy Powers Diversification

At the Port of Duluth, the top tonnage port on the Great Lakes (32 million metric tons), the Clure Public Marine Terminal handles high-value general cargo as well as project and dimensional cargoes.

Deb DeLuca, port director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, recently stated that “cargo diversity is important to any port and its catchment area. A mix of cargo spells economic stability.”

The port on Lake Superior along the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin has strong expectations for 2020 after shattering a wind energy cargo record last year. In total, Duluth welcomed 306,000 tons of wind energy cargo in 2019. This eclipsed the previous summit of 302,000 tons in 2008. Duluth Cargo Connect managed the unloading, storage and dispatch of the cargo to various sites in the Midwest.

Such a banner performance was termed “no accident” by DeLuca. “We’ve made more than $25 million in strategic investments to the terminal in the past four years, enhancements that help support the excellent work Duluth Cargo Connect does in handling these oversize wind cargoes.”

Indeed, the tower sections are long, but the blades are even longer – with some well past 200 feet.

“Wind energy has been an important part of our cargo portfolio, dating back to our first shipments more than a decade ago,” noted Jonathan Lamb, president of Duluth Cargo Connect. “As the farthest inland port in North America, we’re geographically well situated to support wind farm installations in the Upper Midwest and central Canada. We pride ourselves in providing a seamless connection between modes of transportation for our wind energy customers.”

Strapped for space and needing more laydown area, the port is adding 50,000 square feet of warehouse space and rebuilding two dock walls at a cost of $21 million, with construction planned for 2021-2023. Beyond wind components, Lamb says that Clure Terminal is targeting dimensional cargoes including transformers, reactors, pressure vessels and similar equipment serving mining, manufacturing, and oil and gas industries.

A number of U.S. Great Lakes ports are developing reputations for the efficient handling of project and heavy lift cargo. The Port of Bay City, Michigan on Lake Huron handled five wind energy cargoes in 2019. And the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled one of the more unique project cargoes in 2019 when it moved two huge rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTG) from the port to the CSX Intermodal Terminals’ facility in nearby Chicago. The 68-piece cargo arrived at the Indiana port in June aboard the HC Melina and was discharged from the vessel by Federal Marine Terminal’s (FMT) shore crane for transport to the CSX Intermodal Terminals’ Bedford Park facility, which handles domestic and international freight.

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

Ian Hurt of the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, said FMT, the general cargo stevedore at the port, could perform two-crane lifts of nearly 200 metric tons, or 440,000 pounds, nearing the top of any port’s capabilities in the U.S. Great Lakes or Canada. “Intermodal transport requires all modes to work together seamlessly, and the gantry crane shipment is an example of the efficient transportation attributes and its connectivity in the Midwest,” Hirt explained.

At the Port of Monroe, Michigan’s only port on Lake Erie, coal remains the top commodity, but Port Director Paul Lamarre III has been a strong proponent of cargo diversity. And this strategy’s success is borne out by growing imports of project cargo and exports of wind tower sections manufactured at the port. More than a dozen BigLift vessels carrying wind components are expected in 2020.

 

More than a dozen BigLift vessels are expected at Port of Monroe in 2020.

 

Project cargo and heavy machinery are also handled at such ports as Detroit, Toledo and, of course, Cleveland where the Cleveland-Europe Express service operated by Spliethoff has concluded its sixth season hauling containers and breakbulk cargo between Cleveland and Antwerp.

David Gutheil, chief commercial officer of the Port of Cleveland, told the American Journal of Transportation that the port handles a significant amount of non-containerized steel, heavy lift, heavy machinery and capital equipment. Customers include General Electric, Siemens and Alcoa. He welcomed the contribution of Logistec, which has completed its first year as the general cargo terminal operator.

Proposed Offshore Wind Project on Lake Erie

Looking several years down the road, Gutheil evoked the big potential for the Port of Cleveland of a proposed offshore wind project on the shores of Lake Erie that would constitute the first freshwater wind farm in North America. Known as Icebreaker Wind, the $126 million pilot project consists of six 3.45MW turbines located 8 miles north of Cleveland. LEEDCo, a non-profit PPP, is co-developing the project with Norwegian equity investor Fred Olsen Renewables. Cleveland Public Power has committed to buying 63% of output over 16 years.

The project has won federal approval and has encountered no major public opposition (a good measure of public support, in fact). Assuming the Ohio Power Siting Board gives the green light, possibly by this spring, construction could start in 2021 and commercial operation in 2022. Ultimately, analysts suggest it could transform Ohio into a regional offshore wind-supply chain hub.

“We see much potential for us as a staging center for the energy components,” Gutheil told AJOT.

New Laydown Areas Benefit Canadian Ports

Meanwhile, officials at the U.S. and Canadian Seaway corporations are continuing to put strong emphasis on the Great Lakes/Seaway System as a non-congested and strategically-located alternative to gateways on the U.S. East Coast and Gulf for project and heavy lift cargoes.

Among Canadian ports on the Great Lakes, the newly-merged Lake Ontario ports of Hamilton and Oshawa (now called the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority, or HOPA) are continuing to develop project cargo and breakbulk business.

 

Spliethoff has completed six years of its Cleveland-Europe Express service.

 

On the tip of Lake Superior, the investments by the Port of Thunder Bay (mainly a grain export gateway) on a new laydown area, railway yard as well as a new warehouse scheduled for completion this May are paying off with two large wind turbine projects in Western Canada slated to use the port’s Keefer Terminal for oversized cargo.

We are also handling more structural steel and railway track for Western Canada as a result of our new laydown area,” indicated Tim Heney, chief executive of the Thunder Bay Port Authority.

Another Canadian port focused on bulk shipping that has significantly diversified its customer base due to investments in bigger laydown areas is Johnstown in eastern Ontario. Last year, it welcomed 13 multi-purpose vessels carrying 29 full sets of turbines for a regional wind farm. The laydown areas have likewise accommodated steel construction beams, and steel pipes will start later this year.

 

Source: American Journal of Transportation

U.S. Great Lakes Ports Report Busy 2019 Navigation Season

The St. Lawrence Seaway, North America’s binational marine highway stretching 2,300 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, registered an 8.5 percent gain in year-over-year dry bulk cargo shipments in 2019. This highlights the Seaway’s ability to drive a diverse mix of commodities to and from Great Lakes ports.

The top-performing cargos through the 2019 Navigation Season include: 

  • Salt — 3,855,000 metric tons; 10.8%* increase
  • Cement & Clinkers — 1,909,000 metric tons; 1.2%* increase
  • Coke — 1,453,000 metric tons; 8.5%* increase
  • Gypsum — 640,000 metric tons; 27.8%* increase
  • Potash — 333,000 metric tons; 7.3%* increase

*Percentages rounded to nearest tenth

“Throughout the 2019 shipping season, American Great Lakes ports continued moving cargos at a consistent pace, achieved numerous benchmarks and historic moments, and made significant investments to maintain success in 2020,” said Steve Fisher, Executive Director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association.

The final total tonnage results – 38 million tons of commodities moved in 2019 – reflect an overall 6.6 percent decrease in Seaway-wide total tonnage compared to the 2018 season yet kept on pace with the Seaway’s five-year average.

Historic Year for ‘The Biggest Little Port’

Port Monroe laid the groundwork during a strong 2018 navigation season, including the introduction of a new state-funded riverfront dock, for continued success throughout the 2019 season.

In October 2019, Port Monroe handled a historic shipment — a deserved payoff for their efforts in increasing international inbound and outbound cargos — receiving what may be the most valuable single piece of cargo to have moved through the Seaway System. The M/V Happy Ranger delivered a stator — a device that converts a rotating magnetic field to electric current — from Rotterdam, Netherlands to the Port of Monroe. The record-breaking piece of cargo, due to value, will be used in a generator at DTE

Energy’s Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant in Newport.

That very same ship, M/V Happy Ranger, was then loaded with 42 wind tower segments manufactured at Ventower, a wind energy manufacturing company based in Monroe, and shipped to Peru, exemplifying what can only be described by Port Director Paul C. LaMarre III as “logistics perfection.”

Port of Cleveland Capitalizes on General Cargo, Invests in Future

The Port of Cleveland reported that general cargo tonnage increased by approximately 9 percent in the 2019 navigation season compared to 2018. “This increase was achieved despite the fact that our trans-Atlantic tonnage decreased by approximately 25 percent. Due to the forecasted continued stagnation in trans-Atlantic tonnage, the Port and our terminal operator, LOGISTEC, has shifted focus and secured new general cargo business from Canada, which directly contributed to the increase in our total general cargo tonnage,” said Port of Cleveland’s Chief Commercial Officer David Gutheil.

The Port also completed a major rehabilitation of their bulkhead at Cleveland Bulk Terminal, which will enable multiple vessels to be worked simultaneously and significantly improve loading and discharging efficiencies at that operation for years to come. The Port continues to expand its cruise vessel business, and in 2019 welcomed 28 passenger vessels. During the 2020 season, Cleveland expects to be the port of call for 40 passenger vessel calls to Cleveland.

Wind-Related Cargo Blows Port of Duluth-Superior Past Single-Season Record

The Port of Duluth-Superior finished this navigation season strong, achieving notable benchmarks with wind-related cargo and grain. In 2019, the Port set a single-season record, welcoming 306,000 freight tons of wind energy cargo. This haul eclipsed the previous high of 302,000 freight tons set in 2008. The Port also saw a surge of late-season grain, pushing their 2019 season total 15 percent over last season and more than 40 percent ahead of 2017.

Overall, it was an award-winning year for the Port of Duluth-Superior and its terminal operator (Duluth Cargo Connect). The Port collected its 18th Pacesetter Award for international tonnage increases, earned high marks in the Green Marine environmental performance report (ranking among the United States’ top 5 and No. 10 overall), and was named the 2019 Port/Terminal Operator of the Year by an international panel of judges with Heavy Lift and Project Forwarding International.

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Sees Positive Numbers with Grain

The Port of Indiana reported that, through the end of November, overall tonnage was down 4 percent from 2018. However, as the final numbers come in for the season, the trend points to a considerable increase in grain shipments compared to last season.

“As we collect data for the entire 2019 navigation season, it is clear tonnage results reflect the more challenging conditions encountered this year compared to 2018,” said Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Director Ian Hirt. “It was a steady year that was hampered by trade uncertainty as well as difficult navigational conditions.”

In 2019, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor received the 2019 PCA Industrial Award, hosted Indiana’s first U.S. Navy vessel commissioning ceremony of the USS Indianapolis, and is making significant investments for the future including two new railyards, 4.4  miles extension to the port’s 14-mile rail network, construction of a new 2.3-acre cargo terminal with multimodal connections, improvements to the dock apron and approximately 1200-foot dock expansion, and a new 6-acre truck marshaling yard.

 

Source: The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

Port Of Monroe To Buy Crane With $1.1 Million Grant

The Port of Monroe recently received a $1.1 million federal grant that will help fund the purchase of a crane. Port director Paul LaMarre III, seen in this photo, said the funds will support the seaport as it continues to grow its cargo business. [COURTESY PHOTO]

 

Federal grant money has been awarded to fund equipment upgrades and training geared toward attracting more cargo to the Port of Monroe.

The U. S. Department of Transportation’s America’s Marine Highway Projects Program announced Tuesday the local port will receive $1.1 million. Paul LaMarre III, port director, said the funds will be used to buy a crawler crane, which will move cargo and heavy equipment.

“The grant is symbolic (of the fact) the Port of Monroe is here to stay and we are in the cargo business,” LaMarre said. “We will relentlessly continue to develop a prosperous seaport for the City of Monroe and beyond.”

The Marine Highway Projects Program, which is administered by the Maritime Administration, works to expand the use of the country’s water systems, including the Great Lakes, which are connected to the St. Lawrence Seaway System via Lake Erie.

Each year the program awards grants to projects that have been identified as Marine Highway Routes. The port and the Lake Erie Shuttle Project, an initiative to spur economic growth in the region, received a Marine Highway Route designation in 2016. Port officials pursued the grant because it presented an opportunity to help fund a project that makes the local entity more competitive in the shipping industry, according to LaMarre.

“There are very few grant programs that exist specifically for port-related projects and equipment,” he said. “We thought it was prudent to apply for funding for what has the potential to be most costly piece of equipment the port will utilize.”

Manitowoc MLC165 Crane

The port will purchase a Manitowoc MLC165 crawler crane, which has a maximum boom length of 276 feet.

“The key to attracting cargo to your terminal is efficiency and economics,” he said. “A crane can single handedly provide both of those things.”

A crane is expensive to rent, which created a disadvantage for the local port, according to LaMarre. Last year, DRM Terminal Service, the port’s terminal operator, spent about $500,000 on crane rentals, he added.

The addition of the crane enables the port to handle different kinds of cargo, LaMarre said, adding the Manitowoc model can be customized with different attachments and other types of equipment.

The port submitted the grant proposal Sept. 20 to the DOT. Once port officials sign an agreement, the port will have 24 months to use the funds provided by DOT.

The grant was awarded on the contingency that the port also generate additional funds to purchase the crawler crane — the grant program requires a community match.

The total cost of the crane, its installation and associated training is approximately $1.7 million. LaMarre said the port will use a combination of its own money, funds from DRM Terminal Services and financing to cover the nearly $600,000 still needed.

“We have a reasonable amount of time to come up with the local match funding,” he said.

The port worked with New Jersey-based grant writer Tiffany Torrey on the 10-page grant proposal. LaMarre said Torrey is respected within the maritime community.

“She is very familiar with the field in which we operate,” he said. “She has been highly successful with her applications for projects.”

Though the crane will be owned by the port, DRM Terminal Service will use it and handle its maintenance, which is a common industry practice, according to LaMarre.

In addition to the business the new equipment will help attract, LaMarre is looking forward to flying an American flag from the top of the crane. He also plans to fly a “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag, a motto LaMarre has used as a rallying cry as the port remains embroiled in a regulatory dispute with U. S. Customs and Border Patrol. During the War of 1812, Cmdr. James Lawrence of the American frigate Chesapeake ordered his crew ′ Don’t give up the ship’ after he was fatally wounded during a battle near Boston Harbor in 1813. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry won his naval battle with the British on Lake Erie three months later while flying a blue battle flag inscribed with those words.

For several years CBP has imposed regulations that have limited the port’s ability to handle international cargo. LaMarre contends the regulations, which were handed down by CBP’s Detroit office, are inconsistent with expectations at other Great Lake ports. An independent study determined those regulations have cost the port several millions of dollars in revenue each year.

Federal Support

With the aid of U. S. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and U. S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, LaMarre has been seeking to operate more freely in the international shipping business as he works to comply with requirements set forth by CBP.

Last year Peters brokered a meeting with CBP officials to address the issue.

He supported the port’s recent grant application, highlighting the importance of the maritime highway and its economic impact on the area.

“I was proud to support the Port of Monroe’s application for the grant, which will allow it to upgrade equipment, make more investments to continue growing and delivering the products families and businesses across Michigan rely on every day,” Peters said.

LaMarre said there isn’t a set date for the installation of the crane. Given what the port has faced in recent years, it’s not going to rush the process, he added.

“With so much support for our continued prosperity for the American taxpayer, we would hope that (CBP) would recognize that the Port of Monroe deserves its resources and support,” LaMarre said. “All of our recent challenges have forced us to be patient. … We will ensure the (crane) is installed when it makes the most sense.′

 

Source: Monroe News

Port Of Monroe Earns Award For Cargo Work

The Port of Monroe received a Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award, which is awarded by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

The Port of Monroe has once again been honored for its work with handling international cargo.

The local port received a Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award, which is awarded by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, for the 2018 navigation season. The Port of Monroe was one of eight ports to receive the recognition.

Paul LaMarre III, the director of the Port of Monroe, received the award recently during the SLSDC’s summer meeting. It was presented by Tom Lavigne, associate administrator of the SLSDC which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

LaMarre said the recognition wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of his team members.

“I wish the award could be chopped up into tiny pieces and that they could be given to everyone who has been a part of our success,” LaMarre said. “It is the daily grind of our team that has taken the Port of Monroe from a vacant field to a bustling seaport.”

The award is given to ports on the Great Lakes that register an increase in handling international tonnage. This is the fourth year that the Port of Monroe has received the honor. It was awarded one for its works during the 2017 and 2015 navigation seasons, as well as 2013.

“The fact that this is our fourth award in 6 years is not only representative of our growth, but also our resilience and diversity,” LaMarre said.

Though the 2019 season is still underway, LaMarre said the port has already completed the requirements to be on track to receive the award again next year.

A major component of the award was the port’s work with the Iver Bright, a ship that made its first Great Lakes voyage during the last season. The ship carried more than 4,000 tons of liquid asphalt for Suncor, a Canadian-based energy company.

The fact that the Iver Bright’s maiden seaway trip involved the Port of Monroe was highly impactful, LaMarre said, adding that the ship stayed on the Great Lakes during the winter months as it was an ice-class vessel. Its integration was a new development for the port, and the ship continues to work out of the Port of Monroe this season, according to LaMarre.

″(The ship) has essentially become one of our staple carriers,” LaMarre said.

The SLSDC’s also recognized the port’s use of its new state-funded dock. It was used for the handling of steel coils from Stelco, a steel company based in Ontario, Canada. The coils were for products in the automotive industry. The intermodal dock, a $3.6 million investment, saw its first ship, The Huron Spirit, in April 2018.

Although the coils didn’t factor into the port’s international tonnage, they were the first cargo handled at the dock, which will help with the port’s mission to grow its tonnage handling. It was a new cargo development, LaMarre said.

Tariffs on foreign steel caused that business to cease, LaMarre said, but the port is actively looking for ways to increase its opportunities in the steel market.

“The major benefit was not economics, but that we had the opportunity to prove ourselves with a new cargo that we handled very efficiently and safely,” LaMarre said. “Without the new dock, we wouldn’t have been able to handle that opportunity.”

 

Source: The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

U.S. Wind Energy and Construction Supported by Great Lakes Seaway Shipping with Large Increases in Project Cargo During May

The St. Lawrence Seaway, North America’s binational marine highway connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, reported overall gains in project cargo, agriculture and iron ore. These notable increases, specifically in project cargo, indicate that shippers view the Great Lakes Seaway system as way to ship to America’s heartland faster and more efficiently. Year-to-date (YTD) total cargo shipments for the period from the opening of the navigation season on March 22, 2019 through May 31, 2019 were 8.27 million metric tons (mt).

Top Performing Cargoes for May 2019 YTD:

Cargo Metric Tons Handled Growth YOY*
Grain 2,329,000 mt 3.6 percent*
Iron Ore 1,542,000 mt 8.1 percent*
Salt 621,000 mt 62.1 percent*
Liquid Chemicals 178,000 mt 9.9 percent*
Ores & Concentrates 70,000 mt 20.5 percent*

*Percentage indicates year-over-year (YOY) rounded to nearest tenth

 

Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation said, “Tonnage moving on the Seaway is running at about the same level as this time last year.  Shipments of project cargo are particularly noteworthy, and a number of U.S. Great Lakes ports are reporting an outlook for continued movement of these high value cargoes such as windmill components, cranes, and heavy machinery.”

The U.S. Great Lakes ports of Milwaukee, Monroe, Duluth-Superior, Indiana and Toledo showed strong activity congruent with overall Seaway growth, especially in project cargo — large, heavy, high value, or complex pieces of equipment, like windmills.

 

Great Lakes Seaway: Project Cargo Hub

BigLift Happy River delivering a load of wind energy cargo to the Duluth Cargo Connect facilities in May 2019

Anchored by domestic trade, the Port of Duluth-Superior operates as a global gateway for bulk cargo entering the system. “After a slow start in March due to ice, the pace picked up considerably in April and May. Overall tonnage for the Port of Duluth-Superior increased 9 percent over April 2018,” said Jayson Hron, Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Director of Communications and Marketing.

 “We also welcomed the first of numerous wind energy cargo shipments scheduled to arrive throughout the summer,” said Hron. The Port of Duluth-Superior is expecting at least 15 shipments to their Duluth Cargo Connect facilities in 2019. So far, they’ve welcomed two, both carrying towers, with a third, carrying blades, scheduled to arrive soon.

Iron ore, petroleum products and dry bulk led the way for an 8 percent tonnage increase compared to May 2018 for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “So far this year, we’ve had more “salties” calling on Toledo than any year since 2006,” said Joseph Cappel, VP of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. A combination of grain, salt, pig iron and other bulk products along with project cargo for the Cleveland Cliffs HBI Facility already have accounted for 14 ocean vessel calls in Toledo this year.

Port Milwaukee has seen a 220% increase in project cargo. “Port Milwaukee has maintained its momentum through the early part of the international shipping season on the Great Lakes,” Municipal Port Director Adam Schlicht said. “Overall tonnage via the Port’s commercial tenants is up 10% compared to this time last year. Total cargo via Milwaukee Harbor remains sturdy, averaging a 2% increase in overall economic activity when compared to May 2018.”

Port Milwaukee’s ship-to-rail supply chain initiatives have already taken almost 500 trucks off of Wisconsin’s roads in 2018 and its leadership is optimistic about tonnage for the rest of the navigation season. Inbound steel, cement, and salt traffic will most likely lead the way.

 

Salt Shipments on the Great Lakes Seaway

M/V PAUL R. TREGURTHA, M/V GAGLIARDA and the Barge DELAWARE and Tug CALUSA COAST unloading at Port of Monroe’s docks. Photo Credit: Paul C. LaMarre III

“The Port of Monroe has had a strong start to the 2019 shipping season,” says Paul LaMarre, Port Director at Port of Monroe. Port of Monroe continues to move interlake cargoes such as coal, limestone, synthetic gypsum, bottom ash and others at a consistent pace. “We were also pleased to welcome our first international vessel of the season in late May, the newly acquired M/V GAGLIARDA.”

For the first time in the Port of Monroe’s history, three vessels unloaded at the same time on three separate docks. The “Queen of the Lakes”, the M/V PAUL R. TREGURTHA, unloaded at DTE’s Monroe Powerplant, the M/V GAGLIARDA unloaded Egyptian salt at the Port’s Riverfront Dock, and the Barge DELAWARE and Tug CALUSA COAST unloaded liquid asphalt at the Port’s Turning Basin Dock.

Ports of Indiana report an overall YTD 7.2 percent increase, noting one significant project cargo shipment — rubber-tire gantry cranes bound for a CSX container yard in Illinois.

Ports of Indiana continue to support economic growth in Indiana and throughout the Great Lakes region with an excellent start. We continue to grow, as has been seen the past four years, with increases in salt, export grain shipments, limestone and coal,” said Vanta E. Coda II, Chief Executive Officer for Ports of Indiana.

 

 

HC MELINA unloading at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

 

Source: The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

LaMarre Named to Federal Maritime Panel

 

Port of Monroe Director Paul C. LaMarre III has been appointed to the Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee.

 

The two-year appointment was made by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao last month.

The panel provides advice and recommendations to the secretary of transportation on matters relating to the U. S. maritime transportation and its integration into other aspects of the country’s transportation system.

It’s composed of up to 30 leaders from commercial transportation firms, port and water stakeholders, labor, and federal, state and local public entities.

LaMarre, who has been port director since July, 2012, was supported in the appointment by U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, and U. S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.

“Given Paul’s extensive work experience and military background, he is extremely well qualified and understands the complex issues surrounding maritime transportation,” said Walberg.

“The Great Lakes maritime industry is an important driver of good-paying jobs and economic growth, and I look forward to continuing to work with Paul to advocate for our state and region,” he said.

Peters, too, praised LaMarre.

“From his service as a U.S. Navy pilot to his superb management of the Port of Monroe, Paul LaMarre is a distinguished representative of Michigan’s rich maritime heritage,” said Peters.

″(He will be) a key voice on the federal level for the Great Lakes’ ports and waterways,” he said.

LaMarre called the appointment “a humbling honor.”

He praised both lawmakers’ support of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system shipping and its maritime industry

He called their work “priceless to us.”

LaMarre called the Great Lakes sustainability “industrially and environmentally at the foundation of the Port of Monroe’s continued growth and resilience.”

 

SOURCE: The Monroe News

Peters Applauds Appointment of Monroe Port Director to Key Federal Maritime Transportation Committee

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today applauded the Department of Transportation’s decision to appoint Director of the Port of Monroe Paul LaMarre to the U.S. Marine and Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC) for a term of two years. Last year, Peters supported LaMarre’s application, writing a letter to the Department of Transportation.

“From his service as a U.S. Navy pilot to his superb management of the Port of Monroe, Paul LaMarre is a distinguished representative of Michigan’s rich maritime heritage,” said Senator Peters. “I was proud to support his application, and I believe that he will not only be a tremendous asset to the Marine and Transportation System National Advisory Committee, but also a key voice on the federal level for the Great Lakes’ ports and waterways.”

“Receiving Senator Peters’ nomination to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC) and subsequent appointment by Secretary Elaine L. Chao is truly a humbling honor,” said LaMarre. “Senator Peters’ unrelenting support of the Great Lakes maritime industry is indisputable and his support for the opportunity to advocate for the broader interests of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system as a whole is priceless. The Senator’s ongoing efforts to ensure the Great Lakes are sustainable both industrially and environmentally are at the foundation of the Port of Monroe’s continued growth and resilience.”

MTSNAC was commissioned by the Department of Transportation to identify issues and develop solutions to various impediments to effective management of short sea transportation. The Committee works directly with the Secretary of Transportation on various issues relating to maritime transportation, and to ensure that our waterways are seamless integrated within the nation’s larger transportation system.

 

Source: The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

Port of Monroe

Shipping Milestone: Cargo Diversity Up Across Docks

The Port of Monroe is celebrating another milestone year.

This time it comes in the form of cargo diversity.

“The port is as vibrant as it ever has been despite rapid changes in cargo transportation,” port Director Paul C. LaMarre III said. “Cargo diversity across our docks is up.”

Despite some challenges early in 2018, the port continues to thrive. This shipping season saw the opening of the riverfront intermodal dock. The dock, a $3.6 million investment, saw its first ship in April. The Huron Spirit brought a load of steel coils for the automotive industry.

“We had an agreement to handle loads of steel coils, but only got that one shipment because of the steel tariffs,” LaMarre explained. “Effectively that business evaporated overnight.”

But LaMarre did not get discouraged.

“We are a nimble organization,” he said. “We adapt to change.”

LaMarre forged a deal with the Great Lakes Towing Co. and Great Lakes Shipyard to establish towing and shipyard services at the port.

As part of the partnership, Great Lakes Towing relocated the tug Wisconsin to the port to help with ship assistance. The tug is the oldest commercially operating tug boat in the world. It was built in 1897 in Buffalo, N.Y., by the Union Dry Dock Co.

International shipping returned to the port after a nearly two-year battle. International cargo was not able to call upon the port based on issues not related to the port.

Earlier this year, the U.S. government intervened and reopened international shipping to the Port of Monroe and the Port of Toledo.

During the 2014 shipping season, the port set tonnage records and nearly set another one the following season. LaMarre said this year the tonnage figures will be down, but the port’s diversification of cargo is up.

“ We continue to move a wide variety of cargo through the port,” he said. “ We are moving more gypsum on the dock and by rail.”

The port also is handling all the bottom ash from DTE Energy’s Monroe Power Plant, along with components for wind towers and natural gas pipeline sections.

LaMarre said this year the port’s season will continue through the winter due to a new development related to liquid asphalt.

The M/V Iver Bright, owned by Varoon, a company in the Netherlands, began calling on the port recently. The Iver Bright is an asphalt tanker that recently made its first voyage from Montreal to Monroe.

“The single voyage qualified the port for its fourth Seaway Pacesetter Award in six years,” LaMarre said.

The vessel is unique, La-Marre said, because it was built in 2012 and is an ice class vessel, meaning it can operate year-long.

“It will likely call upon the port all year, primarily between Sarnia, Ontario and Monroe,”

“When you couple our cargo activity with our industry leadership, it is evident that the port … continues to be seen as one of the most impactful ports on the Great Lakes,” LaMarre said. “It can also call upon Detroit and Toledo.”

The director anticipates this new aspect to the business will drive up the port’s tonnage in the coming year.

“It’s a significant boost during what is typically the slowest time of the year for the port,” LaMarre said.

Though many said it is LaMarre’s leadership that has driven the growth and success of the port, he credits the port’s business partners and DRM. That success will continue into 2019, he said.

“ When you couple our cargo activity with our industry leadership, it is evident that the port, though not large in tonnage, continues to be seen as one of the most impactful ports on the Great Lakes.”

The port wants the community to be involved in its operations. It launched a new website, www. portofmonroe.com, and a Facebook page where it shares its activity.

 

SOURCE: Monroe Evening News

The Monroe News – Port of Monroe dubbed ‘biggest little port’

A recent economic study detailed the impact of Michigan’s only shipping port on Lake Erie.

Source: The Monroe News
Written By: Danielle Portteus, Staaff Reporter

The Port of Monroe was responsible for more than $96 million in economic activity in 2017, a recent report states.

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership released “Economic Impacts of the Port of Monroe,” a report documenting the contributions the port has made on shipping, the City of Monroe and Great Lakes region.

According to the study, the port and maritime commerce supported 1,659 jobs and $121.1 million in personal income and local consumption expenditures. Additionally, it was responsible for $38.5 million in federal and state tax revenue.

“The Port of Monroe represents the closest convergence of major freight assets anywhere in the region with deepdraft frontage on the River Raisin, direct rail Class 1 rail access, and immediate access to I-75,” said Paul C. LaMarre III, port director. “As Michigan’s only port on Lake Erie, the Port of Monroe serves as the gateway to the State of Michigan’s far reaching multimodal transportation network and this report highlights the significant economic impact that the ‘Biggest Little Port’ has on our region.”

LaMarre said the report is evidence that multimodal commerce is vital to the economic prosperity of our region.

“At the Port of Monroe, we proudly support the mariner and Great Lakes region,” he said.

Of those more than 1,600 jobs, 751 were directly generated by marine cargo and vessel activity at the marine terminals, the report said.

 

By the Numbers

  • Economic impacts of the Port of Monroe:
  • Direct jobs: 751
  • Induced jobs: 574
  • Indirect jobs: 334
  • Total jobs: 1,659
  • Economic activity in dollars: $96 million
  • Personal income and local consumption expenditures in dollars: $121.1 million
  • Federal and state tax revenue: $38.5 million

 

As a result of the local and regional purchases by those individuals holding the direct jobs, an additional 574 induced jobs were supported in the regional economy.

More than 330 indirect jobs were supported by $39.7 million of regional purchases by businesses supplying services at the marine terminals at the port.

“In 2017, the direct business revenue received by the firms directly dependent upon the cargo handled at the port was $28.3 million,” the report said. “These firms provide maritime services and inland transportation services for the cargo handled at the marine terminals and the vessels calling at the terminals.”

Throughout the state, maritime commerce generated $4.1 billion in economic activity in 2017 along supporting more than 25,000 jobs, the report said.

During the year, about 59 million metric tons of cargo was handled at the ports. Of that, 1,782,479.77 metric tons came through the Port of Monroe.

“The study reflects the important contributions Port of Monroe provides to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region,” said Steven A. Fisher, Executive Director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association. “The jobs supported by the maritime industry include not only those located directly on the waterfront — shipyard workers, stevedores, vessel operators, terminal employees, truck drivers and marine pilots — but also grain farmers, construction workers, miners and steelworkers. Many of these jobs would vanish if not for a dynamic maritime industry.”

In the United States and Canada, maritime commerce supported nearly 240,000 jobs and generated $35 billion in economic activity.

“This report validates what we’ve long known — that the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway is crucial to the U.S. economy,” said Craig H. Middlebook, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation “This binational waterway not only provides a multitude of well-paying jobs — on land and at sea — it offers a cost-effective, safe and fuel-efficient means of moving goods to and from domestic and global markets.”

The Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Seaway (comprised of the five Great Lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario — their connecting channels and the St. Lawrence River) is the industrial and agricultural heartland of the U.S. and Canada, with a combined Gross Domestic Product