At a time when the Administration and Congress are focused on creating family-sustaining American jobs, propelling the economy, and modernizing infrastructure, the role played by America’s freight transportation system, including seaports, is more critical than ever. However, federal investment into landside, waterside and port-related transportation infrastructure has lagged, impacting the flow of goods to the farmers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers who need access to the global marketplace. This roundtable discussion is an opportunity to discuss these important issues and look at innovative solutions to address the lack of investment hampering America from building for tomorrow.
In particular, maritime shippers, with help from the Port of Cleveland, are responsible for moving 600 million tons of cargo per year on the inland waterways and 160 million tons on the Great Lakes, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs dependent on this cargo. The Port of Cleveland itself is one of the largest ports on the Great Lakes, supporting more than 20,000 jobs and generating $3.5 billion in annual economic activity tied to the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor each year.
We will take a close look at “first-and-last-mile” road, rail, bridge, tunnel and federal navigation channel connections with America’s ports, together with aging piers, docks, cranes and other good-movement facilities within the ports themselves. One dire Great Lakes need is replacing the aging Poe Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The Poe Lock—part of the Soo Locks, the world’s busiest canal—is the only one capable of handling the 1,000-foot-long vessels that move millions of tons of iron ore from mines in Minnesota and northern Michigan to steel mills in northwest Indiana and the lower Great Lakes.
This discussion with transportation industry business leaders, lawmakers, supply chain logistics professionals, academics and national/regional media will explore the critical issues facing U.S. ports over the next two decades, highlight the significant role that Great Lakes ports play in the nation’s economy, and discuss the increasing strain on our freight transportation infrastructure. Bring your ideas and innovative solutions about making investments in our freight transportation infrastructure that will pay the greatest dividends in the long term.
Infrastructure tour to follow after lunch (1:00pm – 4:30pm)
Attendance at this event is by invitation only. Please contact Andrew Cameron to learn more.