The Port of Cleveland will spend an estimated USD600,000 in 2019 to create a more permanent US Customs and Border Protection facility to allow for increasing numbers of cruise ships calling, and passengers.
The port plans to convert the nearby existing Seamen’s Service building into a facility for US Customs and Border Protection to be able to process cruise passengers more quickly and efficiently.
This is in response to the federal government’s request for the port to provide a more permanent solution for a customs office, as previously, they were operating from tents along the dock. The new facility will have air-conditioning, heat and toilets installed.
The majority of cruise ships docking in Cleveland arrive from Canadian waters, mostly from the Niagara Falls region, so passengers passing though US waters need to go through customs before being allowed to visit the city.
Cleveland Port is expecting an estimated 7,500 passengers to visit from May till October, this is a significant increase from the 1,500 passengers in the same time period in 2017.
Currently, cruise ships dock in an industrial area near docking cargo ships, there are talks that as part of the port development plan, a new dock will be constructed on the lakefront land, near the Cleveland Browns stadium.
Construction on the site may commence this year, hinted Dick Pace, president of Cumberland Development who developed part of North Coast Harbour, Cleveland.
The planned renovations to the new customs facility are still awaiting approval from the federal government, however, Jade Davis, vice president of external affairs for the port strongly suggested the renovations would be complete by September or October 2020.