The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
has announced plans to launch the first-ever Cleveland-Europe express ocean freight service, an effort that is currently being finalized and will be cemented next month if the agency's levy passes, officials say.
Port Authority business is already strong, Executive Director Will Friedman said at a recent press conference, with last month's port traffic having exceeded pre-recession levels. The new service will enhance those business fundamentals by offering "lower-cost, faster and greener" direct service.
"For freight, this is like the equivalent of a Cleveland Hopkins direct-to-Heathrow flight from our airport," said Friedman. "We feel that it will be well-subscribed by the maritime community in Northeast Ohio and beyond. There's a huge market -- fifty percent of the country's population is within an eight-hour drive of us."
"We believe this new service will be a game-changer for area companies, helping them become more competitive in the global economy," added board chair Marc Krantz, who stressed that it will help goods and products reach Northeast Ohio manufacturers and companies more quickly and result in more money spent locally.
Without this service, containers shipped from Europe are sent to East Coast ports, where they are then placed aboard a truck or freight line to be transported to Ohio. With the addition of this service, being chartered by the Port itself, both travel time and cost are reduced.
Friedman says the service would create 361 new direct and indirect jobs and generate $34.4 million of total personal income earned. The Port already generates $1.8 billion in annual economic activity.
Source: Will Friedman, Marc Krantz
Writer: Lee Chilcote