Doubts surface on Chicago privatisation

Operator Illinois International Port District is reconsidering whether the Port of Chicago should be privatised, district executive director Clayton Harris III has said.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, the operator’s board voted in September to revoke a previous request looking for private firm bids to sign a master lease to operate the port facilities in the city in the US state of Illinois.

For six years, Illinois International Port District has been looking for a private operator, with a near-deal with Broe Group in 2013 falling through due to a disagreement on details.

In August, it issued a request for proposals for a master lease, receiving one bid and expression of interest from other parties.

Crain’s Chicago Business claimed that the Port of Chicago is attempting to shake off a mismanagement history lasting decades.

The newspaper also said that the port district has been clearing land and would like to construct new facilities to accommodate North American Stevedoring — more storage space for the organisation means it can offload more cargo from ships and barges, with Mr Harris saying that letting the company grow will result in an increase in volume.

The director said: “We need to know, if we’re going to do this [master lease], why we’re going to do this, and to what point.

“The discussion is ongoing on whether there’s a need for that.”

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