The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has been awarded its 12th Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) for growth in international cargo during a single season.
2010 proved to be a better year than last at the Port of Toledo with a 16.34% increase from 2009 in port shipments through the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Port of Toledo 2010 tonnage number equaled 4,798,487 metric/freight tons. The SLSDC announced that the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority was one of just six winners to receive this prestigious award.
The SLSDC created the Pacesetter Award in 1992 to recognize the achievements of those U.S. Great Lakes Seaway ports that have realized an increase in international tonnage shipped through the Seaway in the most recently completed navigation season over the total shipped in the previous year.
“This robust increase in international cargo shipments is good news for the U.S. economy and underscores the importance of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We are encouraged by what we are seeing and applaud the outstanding work of the Great Lakes ports.”
The Port Authority modernized operations at the Port of Toledo during the 2010 season by acquiring two Liebherr LHM 280 mobile harbor cranes to replace two pre-WWII era rail-based cranes. The new cranes are twice as productive as the older cranes and are used to handle bulk, break bulk, project cargo and containers. The cranes are the only twin cranes of this type in operation at any U.S. Great Lakes Port and are also more fuel-efficient, using only 25% of the fuel expended by the previous cranes. The Port Authority also added a new dry bulk conveyor capable of loading 1000-1500 tons per hour depending on commodity.
This year, the Port of Toledo will officially welcome a new Mantsinen 200 material handler, which is the largest material handler of its type in North America.
In addition to equipment acquisitions, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority reconstructed George Hardy Drive, the main entrance road into the general cargo facility Midwest Terminals of Toledo. St. Lawrence Drive, an access road, was relocated allowing for better accessibility to, from and through port terminals. The Port Authority also reconstructed and enhanced on-dock rail at Midwest Terminals, allowing for more rail cars to be stored on-site and for more efficient movement of rail cars throughout the site.
“Our main focus at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has been to modernize our port operations to provide a significant competitive advantage to the cargo and shipping owners who utilize the Port of Toledo,” said Paul L. Toth, President and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “We are optimistic that cargo volumes will continue to trend upward during the 2011 season and are very grateful for the hard work of our terminal operators which has made this award possible.”
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority will utilize the new equipment to handle additional cargo such as an increased amount of wind components while retaining the current product mix. Increased bulk handling capacity may enable the Port of Toledo to win back some of the cargo lost to the river system in recent years. Facility improvements and port modernization will continue into 2011 as port entry and security configurations are updated and capital improvement plans will be developed for all facilities.
SLSDC Administrator Collister Johnson, Jr. will officially present the award to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority during a port visit in the coming months.
It is the mission of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority to continuously leverage our strategic geographic position, resources and economic development proficiency to provide increased business opportunities—built upon and around our innovative transportation and logistics expertise—while promoting our community and region within the global marketplace. We will accomplish this through unmatched speed and efficiency of service, collaborative and strategic partnerships, community stewardship and the continued generation and execution of new ideas and innovations. www.toledoportauthority.org — 419-243-8251