Port Commissioners from Western Hemisphere applaud Indiana Governor’s maritime vision


INDIANAPOLIS (May 16, 2017)

Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb received a standing ovation by Port Commissioners from around the Western Hemisphere today when he described Indiana’s maritime accomplishments and plans for the future. Gov. Holcomb addressed the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Commissioners Seminar, hosted by the Ports of Indiana in Indianapolis, and reminded the visiting officials that Indiana’s three public ports and private docks ship over 65 million tons of cargo each year. The Governor noted that the state’s access to the Ohio River and Lake Michigan perfectly positions Indiana for handling international maritime shipments at the Crossroads of America.

“Indiana’s maritime industry generates $21 billion in annual economic activity and supports 155,000 jobs,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Being 700 miles from an ocean has not hindered us at all. We can ship and receive ocean freight right in the heartland – which is a competitive advantage for our businesses – and that is one of the major reasons Indiana has become a logistics hub for North America in recent years. Location, location, location. And…we’re just getting started.”

The AAPA represents more than 130 public port authorities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. The two-day Commissioners Seminar, which provides discussions of key international maritime issues related to port governing boards, is being held in Indiana for the first time.

Gov. Holcomb also stated that Indiana accounts for 40 percent of U.S. economic activity related to Great Lakes shipping and, in the last three years, the Ports of Indiana recorded its highest shipping totals in the organization’s 56-year history. He also noted that Indiana recently established a first-of-its kind Maritime Partnership with the province of Quebec to develop new shipping connections, and helped create the first-ever Governors and Premiers Great Lakes Maritime Strategy in 2016, designed to double maritime trade while reducing the environmental footprint of regional freight transportation.

“We are not only investing in roads, and bridges, and rail, and airports – we will invest in our water ports as well,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Right now, we are pursuing the development of a fourth port in southeast Indiana. This is an important project for our state. It’s been over 30 years since we last opened a port. Indiana’s ports have been tremendous catalysts for economic growth, and with our future investments in the pipeline, I know the best is yet to come!”

The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority that operates three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. These facilities handle cargoes for all 50 states and 31 countries.

“Our ports are connected to two of the world’s busiest inland waterways, which provide access to global markets,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. “When you combine these maritime connections with our robust road and rail infrastructure, as well as our strong business environment, you can easily see why Indiana was recently recognized as the best in the Midwest for business by Chief Executive magazine, and fifth-best in the nation. Our Governor’s leadership and the state’s strong maritime industry are critical components of this success.”

The AAPA Commissioners Seminar is taking place during Infrastructure Week, a national week of education and advocacy that brings together American businesses, workers, elected leaders and everyday citizens around one message: Its #TimeToBuild. From May 15-19, leaders and citizens around America will highlight the state of our nation’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, water and sewer systems, the energy grid, and more – and encourage policymakers to invest in the projects, technologies, and policies necessary to make America competitive, prosperous, and safe.

In conjunction with Infrastructure Week, the Ports of Indiana released the 2017 Indiana Logistics Directory, an annual publication that highlights Indiana’s robust transportation infrastructure and freight logistics services (view online edition). The Ports of Indiana will also host a maritime meeting with the Associate Administrator for Intermodal Development, U.S. Maritime Administration (information) on Wednesday as well as several national leaders for the AAPA Influencers Roundtable on Thursday, when Rich Cooper will lead a discussion of major infrastructure issues facing the U.S. with transportation, business and government officials (information).

About the Ports of Indiana: The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority managing 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. Information:


Media contact: Rich Allen, 317.232.9204,


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