Chesterton Tribune

Sure sign of spring: First load of imported steel arrives at Port of Indiana Burns Harbor today

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The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor's 2008 international shipping season began today with the arrival of the Marine Vessel Isa, port officials said in a press statement.

Built in Japan in 1999, the vessel brought 8,610 metric tons of steel coils that were loaded in Ijmuiden, Holland.

The ship will depart this evening en route to Duluth.

From April to December, the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway offers a direct route for ships from world markets right into America's Heartland.

The Seaway provides companies in and around Indiana with what the state calls "the cheapest, most efficient and environmentally friendly" mode of shipping products.

One Seaway ship can haul the same amount of cargo as 870 trucks.

The Port of Indiana has already handled cargoes for several barges and lake vessels loaded with minerals from other Great Lakes ports this season.

 "The arrival of the first ocean-going vessel of the year is always a significant event for the port," said Peter Laman, port director at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.

"We are open year-round for barge and lake traffic but this signals the start of another international shipping season at the port. It brings much-needed goods from global markets to local companies and it means jobs for the longshoremen, truckers and many others involved in logistics associated with the shipping industry in our community.

"The port provides tremendous logistical advantages for area companies and our labor force is second to none. These are the primary reasons this port handles more ocean-going cargo than any other U.S. port on the Great Lakes. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has handled more than $1.7 billion in steel shipments in the last four years," he said.


Posted 4/18/2008