After breaking a five-year tonnage record in 2018, shipping through the Port of Green Bay continued to grow in 2019. In fact, the 2019 shipping totals were the highest since 2007 during a period that saw the highest tonnage in the past 30 years; 2006 saw 2.55 million tons shipped through the port.
The common denominator during both periods of time is a robust economy. The recently concluded shipping season saw more than 2.25 million tons of cargo move through the port, an 8 percent increase over the previous season.
Green Bay Port Director Dean Haen said the import and export of petroleum products contributed to 2019’s high-tonnage total. The low cost of moving goods by ship is keeping regional fuel costs lower than they would be otherwise if petroleum products were only moved by truck and train, he said.
When comparing 2019 to 2018, shipment of petroleum products and limestone showed continued strength in 2019. Domestic petroleum product imports increased 55 percent over 2018 to 132,630 tons, while imports of petroleum products were up 135 percent to 94,167 tons. Exports of petroleum products also increased significantly last year.
As for limestone, total domestic imports topped 608,000 tons (up 60 percent), while imports of limestone reached nearly 75,000 tons (up 135 percent). Foreign salt imports were also strong during the 2019 shipping season, reaching 391,753 tons (up 42 percent).
“With the robust tonnage numbers from the just-concluded shipping season, we are looking forward to the 2020 shipping season with optimism that the economy will remain strong,” Haen added.