TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Some big numbers have been sailing into the port of Toledo and it means more jobs and money pumped into the region. A new study shows an increase of nearly 900 jobs and more than $235 million in additional economic activity compared to a 2018 study. The study was based on the 2022 shipping season.
It shows the port helps support thousands of jobs and nearly $1 billion in annual economic activity. Multi-million dollar investments are being made to help make sure those big numbers keep flowing in. Water is big business. The Maumee River and Lake Erie play a huge role in our region’s economic success.
2022 was a very good year for the port of Toledo. “Annually we handle about 12 million tons of cargo and about 500-600 vessels call on the port each season,” Joe Cappel, the VP of Business Development with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority said. Those numbers add up to thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in economic impact. “There are about 8,000 jobs dependent on the activities at the facilities like the one we are at today and that generates more than 900 million annually in economic impact,” Cappel said. A lot of different cargo moves in and out of Toledo, like grain, coal, iron ore, road salt and aluminum. “We are one of the most cargo-diverse ports on all the great lakes.
We handle a little bit of everything,” Cappel said. And there are some more unusual things that come through the port. “We see windmill towers and blades. nuclear transformers have come through that weigh in excess of 400 tons,” Cappel said. The port is focused on continued improvements to stay competitive.
About $30 million has recently been invested in capital improvement projects at the Midwest Terminals general cargo facility. “We’re rebuilding the dock wall which about a mile from end to end. we are building a liquid bulk tank farm we have invested in locomotives and cranes so we are prepared to handle any cargo as efficiently as possible,” Cappel said. And speaking of the cranes here, the multi-million dollar investment in them has paid big dividends. “The more efficiently the cranes operate the more quickly the cargo can flow through the port and the more cargo we can handle overall in the same footprint,” Cappel said. Public-private partnerships like the one with Midwest Terminals are a critical part of the equation. “The port authority owns the land that the seaport terminals operate on and we partner with private sector companies.
It’s their employees who load and unload,” Cappel said. There’s more investment on the way. “We probably have $50-$60 million within the next 5-10 years slated,” Cappel said. Copyright 2023 WTVG. All rights reserved.