Port Overview

Ports of Indiana

Located in the ‘Steel Capital of North America,’ the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor provides ocean access to ‘America’s Heartland’ on two of the largest inland waterways in the world. The port is just 18 nautical miles from Chicago – close to the city’s massive market and transportation connections, but outside of its major congestion – providing tremendous competitive advantages for companies that ship steel, grain, minerals, fertilizer, heavy-lift cargo and oversized equipment via multiple transportation modes.

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handles international ships via the St. Lawrence Seaway connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, and provides year-round barge access to more than 20 states and the Gulf of Mexico through the Inland Waterways System. The port supports Great Lakes bulk carriers up to 1,000 feet in length and ocean vessels capable of transiting the locks on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system. All of the major shipping lines that serve the Great Lakes call on the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

  • Located in the largest steel-producing region in North America, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has nearly 600 acres of land and 30 port companies, including 15 steel-related companies and three steel mills
  • Major cargoes include iron, steel, grain, chemicals, fertilizers, limestone, coal, coke, salt and heavy-lift cargo
  • The port is a London Metal Exchange (LME) approved facility, which means LME-registered brands of metal can be stored onsite
  • Many companies take advantage of the port’s maritime industrial park to develop onsite warehousing, distribution and manufacturing facilities on North America’s two largest inland waterways and in close proximity to the Chicago industrial market
  • Unparalleled multimodal connections, 24-hour security, an onsite healthcare facility, utility connections as well as efficient cargo handling and storage facilities including:
    • 125,000 tons of liquid storage capacity
    • 90,000 square feet of inside storage for bulk cargo
    • 330,000 square feet general cargo storage in four on-dock warehouses
    • 55 acres of paved lay-down storage area
    • 5,550 feet of berthing areas
    • Seven cranes with multiple lift capabilities to meet your every need
    • Ro-Ro dock for roll-on, roll-off loading and unloading of vessels

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is located in Northwest Indiana in the city of Portage. With transcontinental interstate access, robust railway connections and modern maritime infrastructure, port businesses such as Cargill, Steel Warehouse and ArcelorMittal enjoy significant competitive advantages from the multimodal transportation options of this Great Lakes location.

Community Profile: A Midwestern city of more than 36,000 residents and the third largest city in Northwest Indiana, Portage was incorporated as a town in 1959 and officially became a city in 1968. World War II had a great impact on the growth of the region as the U.S. had a great need for the steel produced here. National Steel (now U.S. Steel) built the first plant along Lake Michigan in northern Portage Township and was followed soon after by Bethlehem Steel (now ArcelorMittal). Portage is also home to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a 15,000-acre National Park known for its white sand dunes bordering ocean-like views of Lake Michigan. Only a short South Shore train ride from the amenities of Chicago, Portage offers a lower cost of living (and less congestion) for those interested in big city connectivity without the big city price tag.