For Immediate Release Contact: Melisa Freilino Office 216-377-1339 Cell 216-392-4528 Melisa.Freilino@portofcleveland.com www.portofcleveland.com PORT OF CLEVELAND’S EXPRESS OCEAN FREIGHT SERVICE UNDERWAY Cleveland-Europe Express will arrive in Cleveland in two weeks CLEVELAND, OH- With the departure of the vessel “Fortunagracht” out of Antwerp, Belgium over the weekend, the Cleveland-Europe Express service between the Cleveland Harbor and Europe via the Saint Lawrence Seaway has officially launched. The vessel is loaded with breakbulk and containerized cargo and is set to dock in Cleveland around April 17. The Cleveland-Europe Express is the only regular, scheduled international container and noncontainerized cargo service on the Great Lakes. The Port of Cleveland and Dutch company The Spliethoff Group entered into an agreement in November 2013 to begin the service. It is the fastest and greenest route between Europe and North America’s heartland, allowing regional companies to ship their goods up to four days faster than using water, rail, and truck routes via the U.S. East Coast ports. Will Friedman, president & CEO of the Port of Cleveland, said the market is responding very favorably and in line with expectations. “This is a significant first step in establishing the first scheduled ocean cargo service in decades between Europe and the Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence Seaway,” Friedman said. “We look forward to seeing the service grow. We know there’s a market for it.” Bart Peters, manager of The Spliethoff Group’s America Service, said the company has received strong response to the regularly scheduled, direct line of trade between Europe and the industrial heartland of the U.S.A. The Spliethoff Group owns and operates a fleet of about 100 multi-purpose, heavy-lift, and roro vessels ranging in size from 9,500 to 21,000 tons, all of which sail under the Dutch flag. “The Cleveland-Europe Express offers fast transit service and carries a variety of cargo between Europe and Cleveland. We are very excited to see Fortunagracht embark on its first trip from Europe to Cleveland,” Peters said. “We are already booking cargo for the next voyage to Cleveland.”
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The vessel will arrive in Cleveland carrying European exports, such as wind energy parts, machinery and th smaller cargo in containers. The ship will depart for Antwerp on April 18 with machinery and containerized cargo. The Cleveland-Europe Express will continue to make one round trip a month, leaving with cargo from Europe at the beginning of each month and arriving in Cleveland mid-month to unload that cargo, and then collecting exports to carry back to Europe. As demand rises, the Port will be able to add a second ship, allowing for a vessel in port every two weeks. The express ocean freight service comes at a time when cargo moving through the Port is on the increase. In 2013, the Port had its highest annual tonnage level since the 2008 calendar year. This April’s tonnage is anticipated to be the highest since 2003. The Port of Cleveland will be posting daily links on its website and Facebook page for the public to track the ship as it makes its way across the ocean and through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Cleveland. For more information, visit the Port of Cleveland on Facebook or www.portofcleveland.com. ### About The Port of Cleveland The Port of Cleveland is a key to Northeast Ohio’s global competitiveness by providing the quickest, greenest route between North American’s Heartland and Europe. An economic engine for Northeast Ohio, the Port oversees 13-million tons of cargo through the Cleveland Harbor, and with it $1.8 billion in annual economic activity and nearly 18,000 jobs. As a Green Port on a Great Lake, the Port of Cleveland plays a key role in the environmental restoration and revitalization of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. For more information, visit the Port website at: www.portofcleveland.com.