The Port of Milwaukee Board of Harbor Commissioners is the port authority responsible for planning, developing, operating, maintaining, and promoting the Port of Milwaukee.
The Port of Milwaukee handles a wide range of cargoes that include dry and liquid bulk, project, roll-on/roll-off, general, heavy lift, and containerized cargoes. The Port of Milwaukee contains sixteen vessel berths, each with a draft of 8 meters and length of 304.8 meters. The Port of Milwaukee also has two barge berths with over 5.5 meters draft. The Port of Milwaukee offers immediate access to Interstate 794 and the national highway network, and it is served by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Located on Lake Michigan, the Port of Milwaukee is a 4-1/2 day journey along the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Port of Montreal. The Port of Milwaukee is the northern-most point an inland river barge can navigate from or to New Orleans, Houston, and all inland rivers between those two ports. The hopper barges using these routes can carry up to 2100 thousand tons.
Interlake deck barges travel the Great Lakes moving large volumes of cargo between the United States and Canada. Bulk products entering the Port of Milwaukee include coal, sand, asphalt, salt, cement, and construction aggregates. The Port of Milwaukee is also connected by liquid pipeline at South Pier 5 and South Pier 1.
Lake vessels that do not leave the Great Lakes ship from March to January or February. Ocean-going vessels traveling through the St. Lawrence Seaway travel from March until the end of December, usually carrying steel and machinery imports and locally-grown grain exports. Inland river barges travelling the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers carry cargoes from as far away as Vietnam. These cargoes include grain and oversized pieces moving south and overseas.
The Port of Milwaukee's container services are linked to the Far East through the Port of Vancouver, saving shippers from paying the US Harbor Maintenance Tax. The Port of Milwaukee's intermodal container yard covers four acres along the inner harbor at Jones Island. This facility, called the City Heavy Lift Dock, sports a 70-ton gantry crane and a 200-ton stiff-leg derrick. Since 1986, the Port of Milwaukee has enjoyed daily train service to and from the Port of Montreal.
The Port of Milwaukee's Intermodal Terminals offer additional service that include stripping, stuffing, repairing, and selling shipping containers. The Port of Milwaukee specializes in handling heavy containers, saving shippers additional costs. With convenient and competitive connections to Vancouver and Montreal, the Port of Milwaukee offers an attractive alternative to the busy port of Chicago.
Lake Express is the Port of Milwaukee's high-speed auto-passenger ferry that operates on routes in the Great Lakes and the Continental US. The aluminum-hulled catamaran was launched in 2004 on its route between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Michigan.
The Port of Milwaukee is cultivating the wind industry based on its history of successfully handling wind energy equipment. Positioning itself as an international crossroads for wind energy cargoes, the Port of Milwaukee offers ample staging areas and easy access to interstate highways and to the increasing Midwest wind farms.