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  April 15th, 2014 | Written by

Port of Toledo

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Paul L. Toth, Jr., President & CEO

FTZ No. 8 • 1,000 total acres 600,000 sq. ft. warehouse space • 28-ft. channel • ICTF

Rail: CN, NS, CSX

Highways: I-75, I-80/90 (Ohio Turnpike), I-280, I-475, U.S. 23

Top export destinations: Canada, Europe

Top export commodities: Coal, Grain, Dry Bulk Products


COME ON HOME By bringing in raw materials, Port of Toledo says it’s aiding America’s manufacturing resurgence.
COME ON HOME By bringing in raw materials, Port of Toledo says it’s aiding America’s manufacturing resurgence.


Paul Toth: Ports in the Great Lakes are unlike the coastal ports—which most of them handle containers of foreign products coming in to be sold for retail or for products to be assembled. Most of what we handle at the Port of Toledo are products that are going into U.S. manufactured goods. Things like iron ores that are going into steel manufacturing and pig iron that comes from Russia or Brazil that also goes into the steel manufacturing industry that typically is used, at least in our neck of the woods, in the auto industry. We bring in a lot of aluminum. We are a NYMEX and London Metal Exchange port, so we bring in a lot of titanium and a lot of aluminum, and that too is also used in manufacturing parts for a wide gamut of manufacturers in the Midwest. So we consider ourselves a critical part of the manufacturing revitalization that is going on in the Midwest and reshoring. That’s important, I think. Another interesting thing that you may not know is we have kind of maxed out our existing overseas cargo facility, and we purchased 187 acres with a former Gulf Oil refinery and just last year put about $18.5 million into that property and they’re creating a new dock facility there.

For the first time since the port opened in 1955, we have service by three Class I railroads. We used to only have service by one, but the new dock provides access to Norfolk Southern as well as Canadian National Rail.

Global Trade: Of the total business that your port is doing, what percentage is import versus export?

Paul Toth: A lot of what we do is actually moving products domestically, so coal and iron ore are a big part of what we do. But we’re fairly well balanced right now, about 50/50 domestic and foreign-sourced products coming in. And then, on the export side, most of what we do is grain exported from the Port of Toledo. We have done some domestic steel exports, but grain is our primary export item right now, as well as maybe some petroleum coke. We have a couple of refineries and our port supports the refinery industry pretty big in northwest Ohio.