Feb 6, 2024 - News

Port of Cleveland is scrapping the Hulett unloaders

Historical black and white photo of "Hulett Unloaders" unloading Great Lakes steam ship of iron ore.

The Hulett unloaders in action. Photo: Cleveland Memory Project

A striking piece of Cleveland's industrial history may soon be lost for good.

Driving the news: Will Friedman, president and CEO of the Port of Cleveland, late last month announced that the agency is seeking bids for the removal of two remaining Hulett unloaders.

  • The giant machines revolutionized the Great Lakes shipping industry, dramatically reducing the time and manpower necessary to unload freighters of their iron ore cargo.

The big picture: At their height, 77 unloaders existed across the Great Lakes, with 14 in Cleveland, but they became obsolete with the arrival of self-unloading ships.

  • Since 2000, the two dismantled Huletts have been located at the bulk terminal near Wendy Park.

Between the lines: Though they will probably be melted for scrap, Friedman said the Port plans to save a 60-foot bucket arm from one Hulett for an installation at Wendy Park.

Go deeper: The history of Cleveland's Hulett unloaders

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