September 2009
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TMACOG Freight Committee Tours Port Facilities

There are important changes underway at the Toledo seaport and nearby areas. TMACOG’s freight committee and other interested people recently took an escorted tour of the area and learned about current operations and some upcoming innovations. Joe Cappel, senior manager seaport business development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, narrated the trip.

At Midwest Terminals International (the general cargo facility), the group toured the 110-acre site and 4100-foot dock. Midwest Terminals handles a variety of general cargo including shipments of project cargo which is large machinery like wind tower components; bulk materials including grains and coal; and break bulk materials. Currently, goods are moved with Toledo’s famous Big and Little Lucas and three other gantry cranes. Big and Little Lucas date from the 1960s and the other three cranes saw service on ships during World War II. Federal stimulus funds will help the port purchase two mobile harbor cranes which will replace two of the World War II era cranes. The new mobile cranes are much faster. They can move materials in up to 40 swings an hour, and also can move 20 to 35 shipping containers per hour.

Another facility at the port area is the former Chevron site now called the Ironville Docks. This former brownfield site was purchased by the Port Authority and is leased to Midwest Terminals. Grants from federal and state stimulus programs are helping the Port Authority to redevelop the Ironville Docks into a potential manufacturing center that would be suitable for alternative energy companies or any industry that benefits from access to water, rail, and highway transportation modes.

The seaport also includes the Toledo Shipyard operated by Ironhead Marine. The Toledo Shipyard is one of the largest and busiest dry docks on the Great Lakes, and has been in use for almost 100 years. The 20,000-square-foot high bay fabrication shop accommodates very large equipment and ship parts. Most of their work is done over the winter when shipping is halted by ice.

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