A new shipping facility for agricultural products — expected to generate $63 million in statewide economic impact each year — officially opened in Port Milwaukee Tuesday.
The $40 million Agricultural Maritime Export Facility is one of the first facilities in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway to move bulk agricultural exports through intermodal transportation. Instead of sending products down the Mississippi River, Wisconsin farmers and businesses can now send their products by truck or rail directly to the facility where they will be loaded onto international shipping vessels.
The DeLong Co. helped develop the new facility, which began construction in 2021 on Jones Island. The public-private partnership is the largest one-time investment in Port Milwaukee since the 1950s. The project was funded by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, private funds from The DeLong Company, grants from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and funds from Port Milwaukee.
The facility will primarily handle dried distillers grains and other grains and feedstuffs from across the state and the Midwest. It can store 30,000 metric tons of dried distillers grains, or 45,000 metric tons of soybeans. Dried distillers grains are a major coproduct from the production of ethanol from grain, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. They’re typically used as animal feed.
The DeLong Company moves about $1 billion worth of agricultural exports annually and will now be able to do that directly from Wisconsin, while reaching new markets in Europe and northern Africa.