"Cargo volume reflects better manufacturing activity in the region served by the Port of Milwaukee," said Acting Port Director Paul Vornholt. "Infrastructure investments at the Port continue to improve the customer experience, and we hope that is a factor in maintaining and growing our traffic in the coming years."
Salt, primarily used for street deicing, saw the largest jump in cargo volume at the Port in 2013. Through November, the Port handled 1.3 million tons of salt. That is more than twice the amount handled in 2012.
Steel is one of the commodities handled at the Port of Milwaukee that increased in 2013. In mid-December the Federal Shimanto vessel unloaded 7,000 tons of steel at the port. That was the final oceangoing ship scheduled for the port in the year.
Other commodities typically handled at the Port of Milwaukee include coal, cement, limestone, fertilizers, machinery, over dimensional project cargoes, liquid cargoes including biodiesel and ethanol, and agricultural commodities such as corn, wheat and soybeans.
The St. Lawrence Seaway annually closes for approximately three months starting in late December. Despite that, activity continues at the Port of Milwaukee throughout the winter with rail, truck and barge traffic. Barges carry a variety of cargoes to and from Milwaukee year round through the Mississippi River and its tributaries.