By Tracy Pringle, Director, Business Development and Marketing, MORTERM

Morterm Ltd.’s Windsor terminal is the only privately owned general cargo facility located in the port of Windsor, in the Windsor-Detroit cargo corridor – the busiest commercial border crossing in North America. The company is a major industry participant in stevedoring, warehousing, trans-loading and storage in the Great Lakes region. The terminal has recently benefited from a number of significant capital expenditure projects including the expansion of outdoor storage space by over 7 acres and the purchase of new material handling equipment. Boasting 160,000 square feet of indoor storage, and over 90 acres of outdoor storage in a 24-hour secured and federally regulated MARSEC facility, Morterm makes an excellent choice for cargo destined for the GTA, the United States, Mexico or any corner of Canada.

The company excels at handling steel in any form – coil, plate, beam, wire rod, rebar and tube – as well as bulk products such as raw sugar, and project cargoes including wind turbine components. Morterm’s skilled employees can handle any type of cargo from any type of vessel operating on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system. 2014 is shaping up to be an excellent year for Morterm with increased stevedoring activity and record volumes of wind turbine components projected. The company has benefited from a resurgence in steel deliveries into the North American manufacturing heartland as the economy rebounds from the 2008 recession, and massive construction projects continue in Ontario.

With expected continued growth in Great Lakes marine traffic, driven by road congestion and increasing environmental awareness in the more ‘traditional’ ports of call for freight originating in Asia, shippers are beginning to seek alternative routes to destinations in the interior of North America, and offloading cargo to smaller vessels for transport through the Great Lakes Seaway System.

Morterm is more than just a marine terminal; it is a transportation hub for cargo traveling by water, road or rail. Able to load onto and discharge cargo from any vessel navigating the Great Lakes, operating from the port that features the lowest port fees on cargo, and which offers full Seaway draft for berthing, our trans-load capabilities open opportunities for other modes of transportation.

The terminal facility is located on the new Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway and next to the planned Detroit River International Crossing, offering direct access to Ontario’s 400-series highways, and US Interstate highways I75, I94 and I96. Morterm routinely handles 50 or more trucks delivering and picking up cargo to the terminal on a daily basis. Immediately adjacent to Morterm is the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry offering drive-on, drive-off service for tractor-trailers, avoiding delays due to congestion at land border crossings. The Truck Ferry is accessible without entering public roadways and is experienced in handling specialized carriers.

Morterm is served by its sister company, Essex Terminal Railway (ETR), one of the few short-lines in Canada with direct connections to CP Rail, CN Rail and CSX offering complete access to the entire Canadian, American and Mexican railway networks. Our companies act as a great local connection for transportation as well as other local services, including those customers located on the ETR line. The planned new high-clearance rail tunnel will open more possibilities for rail shipments with double-stacked containers and new generations of multilevel rail cars used by shippers and auto manufacturers. This massive economic development project will create thousands of direct, indirect and induced jobs and make the region, and Morterm, more competitive as a multimodal center between Canada’s key ports and America’s midwestern markets.