Reduced coal, salt shipments take toll on PortWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
The Port of Toledo saw a decrease of nearly 13 percent in total tonnage of materials handled in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the year-end report released by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
“We are down about 13 percent from 2011 mainly due to reduced coal and salt shipments,” said Joe Cappel, director of cargo development for the Port of Toledo, in an email.
Coal was down due to reduced demand from Canada, which phased out some coal-fired power plants, and U.S. salt shipments were down due to the mild winter in 2011, according to Cappel. Coal shipments were down 33.8 percent, petroleum and liquid bulk down by 27.6 percent and dry bulk, including salt, down by 22 percent.
Total tonnage handled by the Port of Toledo in 2012 was 10 million compared to 11.5 million in 2011.
The number of vessels visiting the Port of Toledo dropped from 601 in 2011 to 508 in 2012. Lake vessels numbered 487 last year compared to 584 in 2011, but overseas vessels increased from 17 in 2011 to 21 in 2012.
The Port of Toledo nearly doubled the tonnage of overseas materials from 467,793 in 2011 to 925,565 in 2012. Tonnage for domestic shipments decreased by 20 percent and Canadian shipments were down by 13.9 percent in 2012.
The largest increase was recorded with 1.3 million tons of grain handled in 2012 compared to 945,489 in 2011, a 36 percent increase. General and miscellaneous cargo increased by 32 percent in 2012, with 73,476 tons over 55,678 tons in 2011.
“The important thing to note is that while tonnage for certain traditional bulk materials may have been down in 2012, the Port Authority and our terminal operators are constantly seeking new opportunities to handle new commodities,” Cappel said.
“We have partnered to invest in material handling equipment and facilities to not only improve on our existing cargo-handling ability but position ourselves for the cargo-handling opportunities of the future,” he said.
The Port of Toledo continued to make major progress in its modernization program in conjunction with several major economic development projects in the community in 2012, according to the Port Authority.
More than $985,000 was invested to reconfigure the entrance of the general cargo facility operated by Midwest Terminals. The new entrance integrates a truck scale with two lanes of entry and exit from the facility. A new guard house and camera systems were added to enhance security at the site.
The second phase of construction at the new Ironville Docks, also operated by Midwest Terminals, was completed in 2012. The rail loop at the docks, completed during the first construction phase, began to be utilized.
About $2 million was invested in construction of the dock wall and dredging in 2012. The third phase of construction to be completed this year, will introduce bulk material handling infrastructure to the site, according to the Port Authority.
More than $897,000 was invested to construct a new guard house and improve lighting and fencing at the Toledo Shipyard operated by Ironhead Marine. Another $668,000 was invested to reconstruct the dock wall between the large 805-foot and smaller 550-foot docks.
The Port Authority also purchased One Maritime Plaza, the seven-story building that houses its offices, from the American Maritime Officers. It invested an additional $757,000 in the building for roofing, lighting and other improvements.
The Port Authority partnered with the City of Toledo on a number of energy efficiency projects through the Better Buildings Northwest Ohio Program. It administered $1.6 million in energy projects for the city through the program in 2012.
The Port Authority invested more than $921,000 last year in three downtown Toledo parking garages it acquired from the City of Toledo in 2011. The improvements included replacing lighting and installing automated controls at each exit.
More than $2 million was invested during 2012 during phase two construction of the Overland Industrial Park project at the former Jeep plant site in Toledo. The Port Authority acquired the 111-acre site from the City of Toledo in 2010.
The Port Authority has secured more than $8 million in federal and state grant funds for redevelopment of the site, which was broken into three phases. The second phase of redevelopment completed in 2012 involved the removal of old foundations and the filling and grading of the site. The first phase involved environmental remediation of the site.
The third and final phase of redevelopment is the construction of new facilities on the site, according to a master plan developed and announced in 2011.
In 2012, the Port Authority signed a partnership agreement with the Harmon Family Development Corporation to perform site and infrastructure planning on the property. Plans are expected to be completed and announced in later this year.