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Update from Port Milwaukee

For Release Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Port Milwaukee Contact: Jeff Fleming, 414-286-8580, jeff.fleming@milwaukee.gov

The challenges presented by COVID-19 and the associated public health precautions have not stopped commercial activity at Port Milwaukee. Transportation operations including rail, trucking, and shipping continue on Jones Island. Port tenants and terminal facilities on Jones Island remain in operation to the extent allowed under federal, state and local public health guidance.

Port Milwaukee’s primary cargoes, including salt, cement, agricultural products, and other dry bulk, continue to arrive by ship and barge; daily routine rail service from both Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific is maintained; and trucks continue to arrive and depart from Port facilities. The first Milwaukee arrival of an international ship through the St. Lawrence Seaway is scheduled for mid-April. Overall activity at Port Milwaukee in 2020 is up 27% when compared to March 1, 2019.

Port Milwaukee maintains compliance with required safety and security policy, including COVID-19 related guidance from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the State of Wisconsin, the City of Milwaukee, and other regulators. To comply with Milwaukee Health Department orders, Port Milwaukee’s administrative offices are closed. However, staff members continue their work remotely. Team members in Port Finance, Engineering, and Business Development remain on the job. Essential Port Operations crews and other maritime employees are working on site and are following recommended public health precautions.

Public Port facilities also remain open, including community fishing locations on Jones Island. Under existing City orders, recreational visitors to the Port must comply with mandated social distancing practices. Security protocols are in place; visitors may be stopped and asked about their business at the Port.

Changes in the 2020 shipping schedule for Port Milwaukee remains possible, given the Citywide and international response to COVID-19, but specific information is not yet available.

Port Milwaukee is an economic entity of City government governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, a panel appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett and confirmed by the Common Council. It administers operations on the 467 acres that make up the Port. It promotes shipping and commerce throughout the region by providing access to domestic and international ships, rail, and over-the-road transportation.

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