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Cleveland-Europe Express is expanding service to India
The Port of Cleveland says several Northeast Ohio manufacturers have expressed interest in getting their goods to the Asian nation

The Port of Cleveland lost about $3 million on the Cleveland-to-Antwerp route in its first year. After that, the Spliethoff Group took over more of the costs and logistical operations.
Courtesy of BRIAN BULL
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Nearly two years after starting out as a pilot program, the Cleveland-Europe Express plans to add Asia to its route. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Brian Bull reports.
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The two ships that travel between Cleveland and Antwerp, Belgium, will also stop in India. It’s not clear yet what Northeast Ohio goods will be traveling there. Jade Davis with the Port of Cleveland says he’s received inquiries from regional companies but declined to name them.

“Manufacturers, light industrial, and heavy -- the really ‘Cleveland manufacturing’ stuff is very interested in seeing how they can get goods in and out of the country. And it’s not just goods, but it’s also finished products that they utilize for their products.

“Right now we’re operating and investing as if this is going to be a permanent service to the port. We’re really looking at infrastructure investment at some of the docks and building a new warehouse for container trans-loading. And also, we have two new cranes that are coming in, that’ll be delivered at the beginning of shipping season, that will handle just purely our container traffic. So we’re making investments to make sure that we can have an efficient streamlined service, and have a permanent service to offer.”

In its first year, the Port of Cleveland lost nearly $3 million on the Cleveland-to-Antwerp route and interest seemed tepid among Ohio manufacturers. But the following year, the shipping line’s investment partner, the Spliethoff Group, took over more of the costs and logistics and added a second ship. Davis says Spliethoff and its Bangalore partner will cover the costs of the India venture. In 2014, the port invested $5 million in the Cleveland-Europe Express. This coming year, Davis figures the port will spend less than half of that.
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