Coast Guard marine inspectors, Port of Cleveland welcome arrival of first-ever container ship to Great Lakes

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CLEVELAND — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Cleveland marine inspectors conducted safety and security examinations on the first-ever container ship to arrive in Cleveland Saturday morning.

The 450-foot Dutch-flagged container ship Fortunagracht, delivered the first-ever load of containerized cargo to the Great Lakes.

Chief Petty Officer Trevor Hughes and Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody Johnson, marine inspectors stationed at Marine Safety Unit, Cleveland, prepare to conduct a Port State Control examination on the motorvessel Fortunagracht April 19, 2014.   Fortunagracht was the first vessel of its kind to enter the Great Lakes as part of the newly formed Cleveland-Europe Express.   U.S. Coast Gurd photo by Lt. Stephanie Pitts

Chief Petty Officer Trevor Hughes and Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody Johnson, marine inspectors stationed at Marine Safety Unit, Cleveland, prepare to conduct a Port State Control examination on the motorvessel Fortunagracht April 19, 2014. U.S. Coast Gurd photo by Lt. Stephanie Pitts

Before the establishment of the Cleveland-Europe Express, shippers relied heavily on rail service to transport goods from the larger east coast container ports, such as New York and Baltimore, to the Great Lakes region.

Talks to bring CEE to Cleveland began in the fall with cooperation between the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, the FBI and other government agencies.

“Marine Safety Unit Cleveland worked closely with the Cleveland Port Authority’s facility security officer, CBP, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to ensure safe and secure operations for the CEE,” said Lt. Cmdr. J. Wade Russell, commanding officer of MSU Cleveland. “MSU personnel focused primarily on maritime domain awareness surrounding the operations and compliance with safety and security regulations within the port.”

Click the photo for more from the inspection.

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One Comment

  1. Niels Lyngso says:

    Gentlemen,
    “First-ever container ship to Great Lakes? First-ever container ship to arrive in Cleveland Saturday morning.? These are plain incorrect statements. – Beginning in 1972, Manchester Liners started a weekly container feeder service between ports on the Great Lakes and Montreal. Fortuna (Later Kathleen) and Manchester Mercurio were the ships.