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Great Lakes Towing Co. recently completed an intermodal short-sea barge move using the Port of Cleveland’s rail loop and its switching carrier, the Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad.Norfolk Southern Railway interchanged a car carrying a 114-metric-ton transformer with Cleveland Harbor Belt, which moved the car via the loop to a port dock. The cargo then was transferred to a barge and towed to a DTE Energy Electric Co. facility.The loop — which opened in September 2012 — and Cleveland Harbor Belt connect the port to both NS and CSX Transportation. When the loop became operational, port officials hoped it would attract a larger customer base that could take advantage of rail and water logistics, and extend the port's reach to the Midwest. "This rail and water logistics movement is an example of the port’s ability to provide seamless logistics transfers in Cleveland, making shipping more cost effective," port officials said in a press release.Meanwhile, the port is ranked the highest among Great Lakes ports for customer satisfaction and performance excellence in Logistics Management magazine's annual Quest for Quality Awards program.The awards are regarded in the transportation and logistics industry as the most credible measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence, port officials said.The Quest for Quality program evaluates ports in five categories: ease of doing business; value; ocean carrier network; intermodal network; and equipment and operations."We added more than a mile of rail track to enhance the interface with … Norfolk Southern and CSX, and we launched our own liner service to Europe through an unprecedented charter agreement with Amsterdam-based carrier Spliethoff Group," said Port of Cleveland Chief Executive Officer Will Friedman. "We have not accepted status quo in our port, and it's very gratifying that customers and logistics practitioners recognize our efforts to better serve them through innovation."
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