Wisconsin’s ports serve as centers of ship building, commercial fishing, ferrying services and the efficient transport of bulk goods. Our location, bordered on three sides by commercially navigable waterways, perfectly situates the state to benefit from water transportation, which is the most cost-efficient travel mode for moving bulk commodities such as agricultural products, petroleum, coal and construction materials, as well as foreign imports.
In fact, freight transport cost per ton-mile for waterborne modes of shipping are as much as 60% lower than rates for other types of overland shipments. Which is why each year, Wisconsin ports handle over 40 million tons of cargo valued at over $8 billion. This includes agricultural commodities destined for international markets, coal for power plants, iron ore and wood pulp, cement and road salt.