WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Port of Oswego was awarded its 14th Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award on July 13 from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
SLSDC Administrator Betty Sutton presented the award to Zelko Kirincich, executive director and CEO of the port, during the semi-annual American Great Lakes Ports Association meeting held in Chicago.
The Pacesetter Award was instituted to honor the achievements of Great Lakes ports aggressively marketing international exports and imports.
During the 2015 navigation season, the port handled 185,472 metric tons of freight through the Seaway, representing a 2 percent jump in tonnage over 2014 figures.
Imported cargoes consisted of aluminum, agriculture grains, salt, cement and fuels.
The port had an increase in aluminum, grains and salt shipments.
The partnership with Novelis (Ford) continued to be a major factor in the increase of aluminum imports.
In presenting the award, Sutton said, “The Port of Oswego had another great year. Earning 14 Pacesetter Awards does not happen by luck – it happens because of the hard work, dedication and vision of the committed team of professionals at the port authority. It is a true honor to present the Port of Oswego this prestigious award.”
In accepting the award, Kirincich said, “The port continues to expand its reach into the New York region’s economy. The 2015 shipping season saw our first export of soybeans to Asia and we expect major grain export/import activity to continue. Our ongoing relationship with Novelis is another indication of the port’s value to industrial growth in the state.”
In 2015, U.S. ports in the Great Lakes Seaway System recorded increased international shipments of high-value cargoes including windmill components, refinery equipment, generators, machinery, and containerized goods.
The Pacesetter Award is the Seaway’s flagship award and is presented to those U.S. ports that achieve year-on-year improvements in cargo tonnage moved through the Montreal-Lake Ontario locks.
This marks the 24th year that SLSDC has presented the award.
The other 2015 Pacesetter winners are: the Port of Green Bay, the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority and the Port of Monroe.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway maritime industry supports 227,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada, and annually generates $14.1 billion in salary and wages, $33.5 billion in business revenue, and $4.6 billion in federal, state/provincial and local taxes. North American farmers, steel producers, construction firms, food manufacturers, and power generators depend on the 164 million metric tons of essential raw materials and finished products that are moved annually on the system.
This vital trade corridor saves companies $3.6 billion per year in transportation costs compared to the next least-costly land-based alternative.
Great Lakes Seaway Partnership is a coalition of leading U.S. and Canadian maritime organizations working to enhance public understanding of the benefits of marine transportation.