Cleveland Europe Express Moving Economy Full Steam Ahead
In service for a little over a year, the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE) has doubled its ports of call in Cleveland, seen increases in amount being shipped and is showing promise to be a global economic driver in Northeast Ohio.
Making its first voyage in May 2014, the CEE provides service between the Cleveland Harbor and Europe, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It is the only regularly scheduled international container and non-containerized cargo service on the Great Lakes and is a partnership between The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and Dutch company, The Spliethoff Group.
Since that first voyage, interest in the service has steadily increased with vessels now making ports of call twice a month in Cleveland. Initially trips were made once a month.
In addition, international tonnage has increased 37 percent compared with this time to 2014, and total volume of shipping container traffic has increased more than 300 percent, according to Dave Gutheil, Port Vice President of Maritime & Logistics.
“We are connecting Greater Cleveland to over 30 countries across four continents now,” Gutheil said, “That is critical for our region to compete in the global economy.”
The Port of Cleveland is a key to Northeast Ohio’s global competitiveness by providing the quickest route between North America’s heartland and Northern Europe. The CEE allows regional companies to ship their goods up to four days faster than using water, rail and truck routes via the U.S. East Coast ports. In addition, the Port of Cleveland provides direct access to major highways and rail lines. In Northern Europe, The Spliethoff Group has connections from the Port of Antwerp to Russia, Finland, Spain, UK and the Baltic States.
“The Cleveland-Europe Express continues to grow and serve Ohio and Midwest companies as we
envisioned,” said Will Friedman, Port President and CEO. “Last year, the CEE attracted mostly break-bulk cargo, but this year we are making significant inroads to the containerized cargo market. This is further proof that the service is a winner and here to stay.”
Annually the Port brings 13-million tons of cargo through the Cleveland Harbor, and with it $1.8 billion in economic activity and nearly 18,000 jobs. The City of Cleveland began shipping operations at the Port of Cleveland in 1825. During its first year of operation, the port recorded $38,000 in exports and imports of $196,000. Today the Port of Cleveland is one of the largest ports on the Great Lakes.