Port council cites value, potential of Lakes shipping (1/6)

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The AFL-CIO’s Maritime Trades Department recently posted the following story. To access it on the MTD web site, click HERE


Cleveland PMC President Promotes ‘4th Coast’ Shipping


When most people look at a map of the continental United States, they see the nation is bordered by water on three sides. But don’t suggest that to John Baker, the president of the Cleveland Port Maritime Council.


“I’m looking forward to talking more about the fourth seacoast, and putting more Americans back to work,” stated Baker after he was interviewed for the “Marketplace” radio show heard on National Public Radio.


In “Shipping Overseas Through the Great Lakes,” heard January 3, Baker tells reporter Dan Bobkoff that more activity in ports like Cleveland cannot happen soon enough. He is quoted as saying during the report: “It’s never going to be enough until we see it.”


Baker, who serves as the International Longshoremen’s Association Assistant General Organizer, has spent most of his career on the Lakes promoting the region as America’s fourth seacoast for international commerce. He said increased use of the Great Lakes ports could help invigorate job growth in the region.


The story featured the efforts of an Ohio-based company to find a way to transport oversized steel cutters from its Youngstown facility to Germany. No states east of Ohio would allow the cutters to be transported across their borders because of weight restrictions. The company found a way to get its product to Cleveland where it was loaded onto a vessel sailing through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic. The story also noted how American grain exports through the Lakes aided Russia during the summer’s drought.


To see the text of the story, go to http://marketplace.publicradio.org/


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