Burns Harbor port records highest shipping volume in recent history

[Jan. 24, 2014]

PORTAGE, Ind. – The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled 2.5 million tons of cargo in 2013, the highest annual tonnage since 2006 and the second highest since 1998. Shipments were up 17 percent from 2012 and 23 percent higher than the previous five-year average.

“Steel, limestone, road salt and coal were all significant contributors to the successful year we experienced at the port,” said Rick Heimann, port director for the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. “It is difficult to predict what lies ahead in 2014, but if we see continued growth in the manufacturing sector that will certainly have a positive impact on port shipments of steel and other raw materials. Right now most area companies seem to be forecasting that 2014 will be similar to 2013 and slightly better in some cases.”

In addition to the Great Lakes ships and ocean vessels, the port continued to handle a large volume of barge shipments moving through the Inland Waterways System, the Chicago locks and the southern tip of Lake Michigan, providing a year-round connection to the Gulf of Mexico and more than 20 states.

For the year, the port handled approximately 90 ships, 415 barges, 310,000 trucks and 12,000 railcars. There were significant increases in port shipments of the following cargoes in 2013 versus the previous year: coal (+16%), fertilizer (+11%), limestone (+28%), road salt (+58%), and steel (+15%).

“Companies located at our ports contribute significantly to Indiana’s economy and the general welfare of those living in and around port communities,” said Heimann. “Having access to both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico through our nation’s two largest inland waterways is very important to our port companies and the regional economy. We truly appreciate all the efforts of each and every company that contributed to the port’s growth this year.”

Maritime operations at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor generate $4.3 billion per year in economic activity and support 33,000 total jobs.

About the Ports of Indiana – The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, the Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system. For more information, visit www.portsofindiana.com.

Media Contact:
Rich Allen

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