Editor's Note: This version corrects the location where the ship is registered from Indonesia to Cyprus.
Toledo's first overseas ship of the season has arrived at the General Cargo Docks on the Maumee River, where it is expected to begin unloading 9,500 metric tons of sugar imported from Guatemala later today.
The M.V. Isa, registered in Cyprus, is "one of the earliest first ships that we've had in recent years," said Joe Cappel, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's director of cargo development, who expressed hope that the early ship is a harbinger of a robust shipping season at the local port.
Several more overseas ships are scheduled in during April, Mr. Cappel said.
Terry Leach, the director of operations at Midwest Terminals of Toledo International, the port stevedore, said the ship was partially unloaded in Windsor, Ont., before coming to Toledo. Unloading should take about nine hours once security inspections of the ship are complete, he said.
The port authority plans to hold a welcoming ceremony on board the freighter, during which the ship's captain traditionally receives gifts from the agency and city representatives.
William Yockey, a vice president of the International Longshoremen's Association in Cleveland, said the union's Local 1982 in Toledo plans to set up informational pickets at the dock during the ceremony because its members have been without a contract since Dec. 31, and Midwest Terminals has stopped dues deductions from paychecks and is demanding pay cuts and other contract concessions.
Mr. Leach said he was surprised by the picket plans, but would not comment on on-going negotiations. He confirmed that Midwest has withdrawn from the Great Lakes Association of Stevedores, with which the company in the past has participated to negotiate industry-wide contracts for Great Lakes dock workers.
"We're still in negotiations with our local union," Mr. Leach said.