Port of Toledo adds COVID-19 safety measures

Published: Mar. 26, 2020 at 4:37 PM EDT
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The Port of Toledo is an economic driver for this region, supporting about 7,000 jobs and generating $1 billion for the economy annually.

The port is not just one operation; there are about 17 docks that load and unload cargo on ships, trains and trucks. According to leaders at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, each company that operates at those docks has put best practices into place for workers and contract employees during the outbreak.

The terminal operators have also been advised by the U. S. Coast Guard about new protocols.

According to the Port Authority, when it comes to the inspection of cargo ships, the crew will now be checked out as well as the cargo. Agencies like the Coast Guard and Customs will be making sure the crew is healthy, and in some cases the crew may not be able to disembark from the freighter. There are protocols and regulations to cover all that.

So what about cargo coming in from overseas?

"Safety is our number one concern," Joe Cappel, the Vice President of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, said. "There are a lot of people at a lot of levels who have been planning during this time. I understand people's concerns about receiving goods from overseas right now. However, the majority of what we handle here in Toledo is in bulk. Bulk product and raw materials. Those are things that would not be handled by producers overseas."

The freighters that work only in the Great Lakes have started the 2020 shipping season. It will likely be a few weeks before the first international vessel arrives in Toledo.