First ocean vessel of 2023 Arrives at Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor

PORTAGE, Ind. – Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened the 2023 international shipping season today with the arrival of Polsteam’s Isadora, a bulk carrier coming from Ijmuiden, Netherlands through the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes. To commemorate the first ocean vessel of the year, the captain was presented with the Ports of Indiana ‘Steel Stein.’


“We look forward to the first ocean vessel in Burns Harbor every year as a sign that spring is coming and our port’s international connection to the world is now open,” said port director Ryan McCoy. “Our unique deep-water terminal has tremendous capabilities for shipping everything from grain to steel to salt to wind component cargoes on ocean vessels to and from the Heartland of America and global markets.”


Owned and operated by Polsteam and built in 1999, the Cyprus-flagged Laker picked up its steel cargo in the Netherlands, stopping in Cleveland first, prior to arriving at the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor. The trip took about two weeks. Workers from the International Longshoremen’s Association and International Union of Operating Engineers will unload more than 8,350 tons of steel coils at the port before Captain Piotr Szczesniak and his 21 crew members continue to Milwaukee to discharge the ship’s remaining cargo.


Captain Szczesniak was presented with the Ports of Indiana ‘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 handling steel and metal-related products.


The St. Lawrence Seaway opened its locks to ocean vessels for the 65th international shipping season on March 22 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 3.45 million tons of cargo in 2022, 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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