Duluth Cargo Connect wins worldwide Heavy Lift Award

From left, Kevin Beardsley, chief financial officer of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Rick Revoir, president of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority Board of Commissioners; Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Jonathan Lamb, president of Duluth Cargo Connect/Lake Superior Warehousing, and Pete Kramer, general manager, Duluth Cargo Connect/Lake Superior Warehousing. 

Heavy Lift and Project Forwarding International on Tuesday selected Duluth Cargo Connect as the publication’s 2019 Worldwide Port/Terminal Operator of the Year. The announcement was made in Antwerp, Belgium. 

An international panel of industry experts selected the award winners. HLPFI established the Heavy Lift Awards to recognize excellence in complex logistics, transport and engineering projects around the world.

Duluth Cargo Connect is a working partnership between the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and Lake Superior Warehousing. The Duluth Seaway Port Authority owns and maintains the assets of the Clure Public Marine Terminal, Duluth’s only general cargo terminal, and Lake Superior Warehousing operates the Clure Terminal assets as the Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s agent.

“We’re honored to accept this award and we appreciate the recognition for our terminal,” Jonathan Lamb, president of Duluth Cargo Connect, said in a press release. “It’s a big world of ports and operators, so being selected at the head of that class for 2019 is something special.”

Judges based their selections on demonstrated safe and efficient handling of oversize cargo; investment in new equipment and facilities for the storing and handling of oversize cargoes; maintenance of existing faciilities and minimized wait time for customers.

“Building and sustaining a great multimodal logistics terminal is a team effort, and we’re fortunate to have a tremendous team – the Port Authority and Lake Superior Warehousing staff, the terminal workers and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority Board of Commissioners. We also have important support at the city, county, state and federal government levels,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “The Clure Terminal opened 60 years ago. That’s a long time when it comes to infrastructure and business planning, but today, the Clure is as successful as it’s ever been because of our team’s ongoing dedication to nurturing a world-class terminal in Mid-America.”

Specializing in breakbulk, heavy lift and project cargo, Duluth Cargo Connect manages  complex and sizable cargoes while delivering supply chain cost-savings to regional and international customers. The 120-acre Clure Terminal is a multimodal hub for these arrivals and departures. It features seven Seaway-depth vessel-docking berths, access to four Class 1 railroads with on-dock rail, a mobile 300-ton crawler crane, and twin 81-ton gantry cranes. The facility is also home to Foreign Trade Zone No. 51, along with more than 430,000 square feet of warehouse storage and 40-plus acres of secured outdoor ground storage. This laydown area has been the disembarkation point for the record amount of wind energy cargo coming to Duluth from around the world this season, said the Port Authority.

Opened in 1959 at the tip of Rice’s Point, the Clure Terminal has received more than $25 million in capital investments over the past four years. These efforts included rehabilitating a historic 28-acre dock, creating two new Seaway-depth ship berths, a roll-on/roll-off dock, and adding on-dock rail, constructing a new road through the original terminal to enhance traffic flow efficiency, adding a scale and trucker’s lounge, and expanding and enhancing the CN Duluth Intermodal Terminal with added rail and paved storage area. The transformation of the 28-acre blighted dock into a fully functioning multimodal transportation hub was a finalist for the Minnesota Brownfields 2018 ReScape Award in the Economic Impact category.

Nearly 50 employees power the terminal operations, earning a reputation worldwide as Lake Superior’s primary destination for dimensional and heavy-lift maritime cargo (e.g., equipment supporting the power generation, pulp and paper, mining and manufacturing industries).

“The Port Authority and Lake Superior Warehousing have been an outstanding team for many years,” said Rick Revoir, president of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority Board of Commissioners. “Under the Duluth Cargo Connect banner, there’s a unified commitment to going the extra mile for customers and providing value-added services they can’t get elsewhere. This team and its level of commitment, combined with our excellent facilities, help set us apart.”