Port of Milwaukee cargo again tops two million tons

The Port of Milwaukee’s cargo numbers held their own in 2015. Milwaukee’s port again topped 2 million metric tons of cargo in a year when ports across the Great Lakes and around the world saw declines in volume. Milwaukee’s tonnage in 2015 totaled nearly 2.3 million tons, down approximately 300,000 tons from the previous year.

Grain volume grew significantly last year and cement tonnage moving through the Milwaukee Harbor also increased. Salt remained the top commodity handled at the Port of Milwaukee.

The Port of Milwaukee’s cargo numbers held their own in 2015. Milwaukee’s port again topped 2 million metric tons of cargo in a year when ports across the Great Lakes and around the world saw declines in volume. Milwaukee’s tonnage in 2015 totaled nearly 2.3 million tons, down approximately 300,000 tons from the previous year.

Grain volume grew significantly last year and cement tonnage moving through the Milwaukee Harbor also increased. Salt remained the top commodity handled at the Port of Milwaukee.

2015 steel volumes ranked as one of the highest totals in the past decade, although down from near record levels in 2014.

“Cargo at the Port of Milwaukee is affected by world markets and local demand and we certainly saw that last year,” Milwaukee Port Director Paul Vornholt said. “2016 begins with some uncertainty, but there is reason for optimism.”

The biggest change at the Port of Milwaukee last year was the decline in coal tonnage. With WE Energies conversion of the Valley Power Plant to natural gas, coal tonnages dropped by more than 80 percent.

Because Milwaukee handles a variety of cargoes, a big change in one commodity’s volume is often balanced by changes in other products.

Maritime Editorial