July 28, 2017 Section of Litigation

If You Build It, They Will Come: Launching a Direct-to-Europe Container Liner Service from Cleveland

By Henry E. Billingsley, II and Dennis S. Medica

A containerized cargo liner service sailing direct to Europe from Cleveland, Ohio—why not? It was a penetrating question that newly appointed CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (hereafter referred to as “the authority”), William D. Friedman, asked shortly after assuming his duties in June of 2010. After all, Cleveland had been an ocean port since the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959. The Port of Cleveland had performed admirable service as a loading and discharge point for ocean break-bulk or general cargoes (mostly steel products) and project cargoes (special shipments such as heavy plant machinery) ever since. The Port of Cleveland had even handled containerized cargoes, on occasion, over the years, although never as part of a liner service.

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