The following is the text of a news release from the Great Lakes Towing Company:
(CLEVELAND) — The Great Lakes Towing Company completed an intermodal “short sea” barge move utilizing the Port of Cleveland’s Rail Loop and the port’s switching line, Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad.
Norfolk & Southern interchanged the railcar carrying the 114-metric-ton transformer to Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad to bring the railcar via the loop to the dock-face under the port’s heavy lift crane. The cargo was transferred to a barge and was towed by the tug Ohio to Marysville, Mich., for delivery to DTE Energy Electric Co. (formerly the Detroit Edison Co.). The tug-barge transit time from Cleveland to Marysville took 20 hours and the discharge of the heavy lift cargo took one hour and 21 minutes.
The Rail Loop and the Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad connect the Port of Cleveland to the two Ohio Class I rail carriers, Norfolk & Southern and CSX. The port and the towing company provide an integrated solution for their customers, making shipping more cost- and time-effective, and providing international and domestic shippers a better intermodal route to the Midwest.
The port’s Rail Loop project was inaugurated on Sept. 27, 2012. The project was coordinated by the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) with funding of $3 million from the state’s Logistics and Distribution Fund and a $1.5 million port contribution. At the time, it was hoped that this rail element would provide the Port of Cleveland a larger customer base that could take advantage of rail and water logistics and extend the reach of the Port of Cleveland to the Midwest. This rail and water logistics movement is an example of the port’s ability to provide seamless logistics transfers in Cleveland, making shipping more cost-effective.