Cleveland looks at Montreal feeder service
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority is in discussions with short-sea operator Great Lakes Feeder Lines about a feeder service that would link the Ohio port with Montreal.
GLFL’s 270-TEU ship, Dutch Runner, visited the port on Friday to help generate interest in the concept from area shippers.
The port authority hopes enough interest is generated that the service could start by spring, said Will Friedman, chief executive officer.
“There seems to be a pretty high level of interest, but we need to see rates and frequency,” Friedman said. He expected the service could be attractive to shippers of industrial products manufactured in northeastern Ohio as well as consumer goods importers.
Friedman, who had worked as CEO at the Port of Indiana, said GLFL's proposal “has a good shot” because of shippers concern about rising rail rates, increased interest in sustainability, and because GLFL has “put its money where its mouth is.”
The carrier is completing its second year in business and recently adding a second vessel, the 221-TEU Arctic Sea. Friedman said the ships seem to have the right size for feeder service, and are able to carry a mixture of containerized, breakbulk and bulk cargo.
Friedman said the port would be able to accommodate the ships without additional capital investments, as the modest-sized ships can be loaded with stick cranes. Both ships are also self-geared.