First ocean vessel of 2022 Arrives at Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor

PORTAGE, Ind. – The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened the 2022 international shipping season Wednesday, April 6 with the arrival of the RESKO, a 623-foot bulk carrier coming from Europe through the St. Lawrence Seaway. To commemorate the first ocean vessel of the year, the captain was presented with the Ports of Indiana ‘Steel Stein.’  See photo here.


“Our port handles lakers and river barges year-round, but the first ocean vessel is always exciting for businesses and our workforce at the port,” said port director Ryan McCoy. “We truly value the St. Lawrence Seaway’s direct connection to global markets and new business opportunities. We’re looking forward to growing the U.S. and Indiana economies again in 2022.”


Owned and operated by Polska Zegluga Morska P.P. Polsteam, the Bahamas-flagged Laker picked up its steel coils in the Netherlands, heading to the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor. The trip took about two weeks. Dock workers will unload more than 6,450 metric tons of steel coils at the port before Capt. Łukasz Pionke and his crew members continue to Milwaukee to discharge the ship’s remaining cargo.


Port director McCoy presented Captain Pionke with the ‘Steel Stein,’ which commemorates Northwest Indiana’s identity as “The Steel capital of North America.” The Ports of Indiana is recognized as one of the top steel ports in the country for inbound and outbound shipments of steel and metal-related products.


The steel coils are being unloaded by port stevedore Federal Marine Terminals (FMT) with local workers from the International Longshoremen’s Association and the International Union of Operating Engineers.


The St. Lawrence Seaway opened its locks to ocean vessels for the 64th international shipping season on March 24 after closing in late December. The Seaway closes for maintenance in the winter, but the Ports of Indiana is open year-round handling cargoes by river barges, lake vessels, trains and trucks. The port handled 3.39 million tons of cargo in 2021, its highest annual shipment total since it began operation in 1970.


About the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor: The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened in 1970 and is operated by Ports of Indiana, 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: Follow us on Twitter: @PortsofIndiana.

Media Contact: Jen Hanson,




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