Lubrizol Corp. of Wickliffe, Ohio, will ship products from its Ohio plants in Avon Lake and Painesville through the Port of Cleveland, a shot in the arm for the local port, which took a chance in 2014 by subsidizing monthly scheduled sailings between Antwerp, Belgium, and Cleveland.
Dubbed the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE), the service is the only scheduled ocean service between the Great Lakes and the rest of the world.
At a reception Tuesday evening, May 10, kicking off the shipping season, Matthew Joyce, Lubrizol's director of supply chain for the Americas, said the service "will provide some (supply chain) significant advantages that we wanted to take advantage of.”
Until now, the specialty chemicals company had been shipping its products in containers on railroad cars to ports in New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk, Va., where the cargo was put on a ship to Europe. The company found it could ship to France at the same cost and with the same shipping time and also could see advantages to shipping to Belgium and Germany.
Joyce said the company also found that by shipping from the Port of Cleveland, it could better schedule its production runs, "which is going to pay dividends in the long run."
"This is a big deal," said Will Friedman, president and CEO of the port, because not only is Lubrizol "a terrific company in our region and a leader in the specialty chemical industry, it is one of the biggest exporters to Europe in Ohio."
The Port Authority used this shipping season kickoff to show off its two new mobile harbor cranes, which are expected to improve the efficiency of port operations. The Leibherr model 280 cranes will speed the unloading and loading of containers on to ships.
Also at the reception, Betty Sutton, administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., awarded the Port of Cleveland with its Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award for registering a significant increase in international cargo tonnage during the 2015 shipping season. Sutton said international cargo that passed through the Port of Cleveland increased 9 percent in 2015 over 2014 to 499,609 tons.