Busy 2014 for the Port of Erie
Erie Sand and Gravel began loading 10 massive GE-built locomotives onto a BBC Chartering vessel yesterday morning at the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority. Later this week, the Port will receive three transformers bound for Massena, New York.
The winter of 2013 was a record breaker - with extreme ice coverage lasting until last week in portions of the Great Lakes. These shipments signal a positive sign for the Port. "We're hopeful Spring has finally arrived and these cargoes are a sure indication that the shipping season has begun in earnest," said Ray Schreckengost, Executive Director at the Port. "Our mission is to promote industrial, commercial and recreational opportunities for the area, and with 85 million people within a 500-mile radius, Port Erie is at the hub of the U.S. and Canadian Industrial Center."
The locomotives, part of a 50-engine contract with GE Transportation, are headed for the Republic of Mozambique. The first 10 locomotives will leave the port this week, arriving at their destination in six to eight weeks depending on weather conditions. Four additional vessels will be necessary to carry the balance of the shipment and other equipment at a later date.
Specialized cargo like this shipment is easily handled by Erie Sand. "We have the expertise and the equipment to successfully deal with large-scale, breakbulk cargo here at the Port," explained Tod Eagleton, Dock Operations Supervisor. "With 1400 feet of dockage, heavy-lift cranes and a natural harbor that exceeds Seaway depth, the Port of Erie is positioned well to efficiently and cost effectively move all types of cargo."
In addition to the GE shipment, the Port is set to receive three of six transformers from South America later this week. Weighing in at 200 tons each, the transformers are headed to Massena, New York to the New York Power Authority. The last three transformers will arrive at a later date.
Eagleton noted that the 2014 shipping season looks to be the busiest year in the last 20 for the Port, if this week is any indication.
Betty Sutton, Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, remarked on the shipments being handled at the Port of Erie: "This is exciting news! These high dollar locomotive exports are proof both of America's world class manufacturing expertise and the critical marine transportation route the binational Seaway offers: connecting Great Lakes ports like Erie to growing world markets in Africa, while delivering project cargo safely, competitively and sustainably."