New loading equipment was recently delivered to Port Milwaukee for The DeLong Co., Inc. agricultural maritime export facility.
The Made in America ship loader traveled more than 1,500 miles by barge from New Orleans, up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Jones Island. This equipment is capable of loading 40,000 bushel/1100 ton per hour onto both vessels and barges.
The ship loader, which is currently being installed on Jones Island, will serve as the heart of DeLong’s loading operations and represents a milestone in the development of the agricultural maritime export facility at Port Milwaukee. Construction of the full facility is expected to be complete in 2023, coinciding with the annual start of Port Milwaukee’s international shipping season.
“Milwaukee is an economic catalyst for our state and region, and this addition to the Port’s operations will expand the partnership that includes The DeLong Co., the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin agriculture and world markets,” said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson. “Thank you to DeLong for its continued growth at Port Milwaukee.”
“We at DeLong are excited to see the progression of this project. Our ship loader is currently being installed and we hope to have final project completion by March 2023,” said Bo DeLong, Vice President of Grain at The DeLong Co., Inc.
“Delivery and installation of the ship loader, as part of the future agricultural maritime export facility, is a turning point in our efforts to realize new agricultural opportunities and advance economic activity in the city and throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Port Milwaukee Director Adam Tindall-Schlicht. “The Port is looking forward to next year when the terminal comes to life. Wisconsin-produced cargoes handled on Jones Island will be multiplied through new rail and vessel efficiency at the DeLong terminal.”
The new facility, located on the west side of Jones Island, will be one of the first on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway (GLSLS) system to handle various agricultural commodities via truck, rail and international vessel, including Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGs). DDGs are an animal feed supplement derived as a byproduct of ethanol high in nutrients. This facility will open Wisconsin's maritime and agricultural economies to new international markets for this and other products. Future service at the facility may also include the export of Wisconsin-grown soybeans, corn and grain.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has estimated the DeLong terminal will generate $63 million in new statewide economic impact annually, increasing exports through Port Milwaukee by as much as 400,000 metric tons per year.
The result of a public-private partnership, the development is the largest one-time investment in Port Milwaukee since the 1950s, when the St. Lawrence Seaway was being built. Port Milwaukee was one of the first nationwide grant recipients of the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) through the U.S. Department of Transportation. Additional facility funding has been provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Port Milwaukee, and The DeLong Co., Inc. Overall terminal construction costs are currently estimated at approximately $40 million.