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