Chesterton Tribune

Ports of Indiana post solid year Burns Harbor saw 10 percent rise in cargo

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The Ports of Indiana handled 8.1 million tons of cargo in 2011, the largest annual tonnage since 2006, the Ports of Indiana said in a statement released on Wednesday.

New ethanol and dried distillers grains (DDGs) shipments combined with gains in limestone, salt, and steel cargoes fueled a 5 percent increase in total shipments moving through Indiana's three ports.

“Despite continued economic uncertainties, this was the fourth consecutive year our ports experienced growth,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. “Our 2011 shipments were nearly a million tons higher than the five year average. We've also seen a significant increase in capital investments by our port companies as they prepare for future growth. This is a good sign for things to come.”

In particular, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor moved 2 million tons of cargo in 2011, an increase of 10 percent over 2010, fueled by shipping increases in limestone (23 percent), steel (18 percent), fertilizer (61 percent), coal (44 percent), and salt (18 percent).

The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, meanwhile, handled its largest annual tonnage since 1994 and the third highest in the port's 36-year history: 4.7 million tons, an increase of 12 percent over 2010 figures. Ethanol-related shipments played the biggest role in the increase, with Aventine Renewable Energy operating in its first full year at the port and other ethanol producers taking advantage of the port's new rail-to-barge transloading facility. “Ethanol shipments were five times the previous year's total and DDGs were 10 times greater than 2010,” the statement said.

In addition, Mount Vernon steel shipments were seven times greater than the 2010 total and the port experienced gains in shipments of coke (188 percent), fertilizer (6 percent) and soy products (4 percent).

The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville for its part handled 1.4 million tons in 2011 with salt shipments increasing 17 percent over 2010 figures. There were also small increases in coal and steel cargoes.

The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority operating a system of three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. More than 60 companies operate at Indiana's three ports. The Ports of Indiana manages approximately 2,600 acres of property along the Ohio River and Lake Michigan and has 800 acres available for future development


Posted 1/19/2012