The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor celebrated
Indiana’s Bicentennial on Tuesday by honoring the arrival of the shipping
season's 200th vessel, the Federal Oshima.
To mark the event,
the captain of the 656-foot bulk carrier from Europe was presented a
commemorative Port of Indiana “Steel Stein” by the port’s director and the
Indiana Bicentennial Commission’s executive director.
“In 1816, Indiana's
founding fathers saw the potential for a Great Lakes port and extended the
state's boundary line 10 miles north giving Indiana 45 miles of Lake
Michigan shoreline,” Port Director Rick Heimann said.
“This foresight has
given the world direct access to the Midwest by way of the Atlantic Ocean,
St. Lawrence Seaway, and Great Lakes. Our Lake Michigan port provides a
global connection for Indiana companies and today's arrival of the Oshima
means materials for Midwest steel processors and manufacturers,” he said.
Owned and operated
by Fednav Limited and built in 1999, the Marshall Islands-flagged Oshima
picked up its steel cargo at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium and stopped in
Milwaukee before docking at the Port of Indiana. Dock workers will unload
over 12,600 tons of steel before Captain Pankaj Sah and his 22 crew members
from India leave for Thunder Bay in Ontario to load potash for a return trip
“Indiana has always
been a hub of transportation and industry,” said Perry Hammock, executive
director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. “Our ports have also played
a huge role in Indiana becoming a crossroads for the world. From steel and
grain to wind turbines and coal, shipping is an important part of Indiana's
history and her future. We proudly honor Capt. Sah and his crew for their
ship being the 200th vessel to pass through Indiana's Lake Michigan port
Capt. Sah with the Ports of Indiana Steel Stein, which recognizes Northwest
Indiana's heritage as the “Steel Capital of North America”" and the Port of
Indiana as one of the top steel ports in the country for inbound and
outbound shipments of steel and metal-related products. The port is home to
31 companies, including 15 steel-related businesses.
The steel shipment
was unloaded by port stevedore Federal Marine Terminals with local workers
from the International Longshoremen's Association and the International
Union of Operating Engineers.
The private and
public docks at the port handle international ships as well as Great Lakes
bulk carriers up to 1,000 feet in length carrying raw materials for the
The port also
provides year-round barge access to more than 20 states and the Gulf of
Mexico through the Inland Waterways System.
bicentennial events have been held throughout the year across Indiana,
including a 3,200-mile relay in which 2,300 Hoosiers walked, ran, and
carried the Bicentennial Torch from the state's first Capital in Corydon
through all 92 Indiana counties to Indianapolis.