Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor earns Pacesetter Award for second year in a row

PORTAGE, Ind. – The U.S. Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) announced its Pacesetter Award recipients for international cargo tonnage increases during the 2021 shipping season. The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor was one of six ports in the U.S. to earn the distinction, which marks the 15th time the Great Lakes port has earned the Pacesetter Award. The most recent was last year.


In total, Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor registered a 135% year-over-year increase in international tonnage shipped. (Last year, it was a 77.5 percent increase from 2020.) A total of 61 international vessels visited during the 2021 shipping season.


“We are thrilled to keep this trend going and receive the Pacesetter Award two years in a row in recognition of the increased international shipping at the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Vanta E. Coda II. “We saw great growth opportunities in 2021, from steel slabs to coils to salt to foundry coke. Our location on the Great Lakes is a key factor to our success.”


Maritime operations at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor generate $5.2 billion per year in economic activity and support 30,000 total jobs. Burns Harbor handled 3.39 million tons in 2021, up nearly 50% compared to 2020 and reached its highest annual shipment total since it began operation in 1970.


“I applaud the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor for their leadership and commitment to keeping the port thriving,” said Craig Middlebrook, deputy administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “Earning the Pacesetter Award is a reflection of the hard work, dedication, and vision of its committed professionals.”


The Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award was established in 1992 to recognize the achievements of U.S. ports whose activities resulted in increasing international tonnage shipped through the St. Lawrence Seaway, excluding Canada, in comparison to the previous year.


Other 2021 Pacesetter Award recipients included: Port of Chicago (Ill.); Port of Cleveland (Ohio); Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority (Mich.); Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority (Pa.); and Port of Oswego Authority (N.Y.).


More than 237,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity are supported annually by movement of various cargoes on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System.


About the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor: The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor celebrated its 50th year of operation in 2020. The facility 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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