Ports & Terminals

Ground Broken For Major Agricultural Maritime Export Facility In Milwaukee

Port Milwaukee and The DeLong Company Inc. broke ground October 15 on a nearly $35 million agricultural maritime export facility on Jones Island. Representatives from the port, DeLong and the city of Milwaukee were joined by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, federal, state and local officials and port customers and stakeholders in the groundbreaking ceremony.

“Milwaukee is an integral link in the Wisconsin economy,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “In this case, we are connecting Wisconsin agriculture with world markets. The combined support from local, state and federal officials affirms the importance of this development. DeLong’s arrival at Port Milwaukee is a great addition to the city’s marine commerce.”

“We all know that waterborne commerce is what established Milwaukee and fueled its growth, and the DeLong terminal brings Port Milwaukee full-circle,” Port Milwaukee Director Adam Tindall-Schlicht said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “This major development is about realizing new agricultural opportunities and advancing economic activity in the city and throughout the Great Lakes region. It’s good news for Milwaukee that companies like DeLong are investing, creating jobs and choosing the port as the place to expand operations.”

The new facility, located on the west side of Jones Island, will be one of the first on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway 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 that are high in nutrients. The facility will open Wisconsin’s maritime and agricultural economies to new international markets for this and other products. Future service at the facility will also include the export of Wisconsin-grown soybeans, corn and grain.

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“Once completed, this project will offer Wisconsin agriculture the ability to reach new markets with a better logistical model,” said Bo DeLong, vice president of grain at The DeLong Company Inc. “This facility will be the first of its kind, designed specifically to handle DDGs on the Great Lakes system. We are thankful for our partnership with the port and all levels of local, state and federal government who worked to support this project.”

Thanks to a public-private partnership, this development is the largest one-time investment in Port Milwaukee since the 1950s, when the St. Lawrence Seaway was being built. As announced in February 2020, 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 Company.

The facility is expected to be fully operational by April 2023, coinciding with the annual start of Port Milwaukee’s international shipping season.