The Port of
Indiana-Burns Harbor handled 2.8 million tons of cargo in 2015, the second
highest tonnage in more than two decades.
all-time record volume, 2015 marked only the third time in the port’s
45-year history that it handled 2.8 million or more tons.
of heavy-lift project cargoes (up 96 percent), carbon products (up 37
percent), limestone (up nearly 12 percent) and oils (up 72 percent) helped
drive the increased volume.
“Our port continues
to be a major inland hub for heavy-lift cargoes as our terminal operators
handled nearly double the number of large dimensional shipments during 2015
over the previous year,” Port Director Rick Heimann said. “The port has
received multiple shipments for regional breweries in recent years,
including 36 beer fermentation tanks in 2015. Many of these are 20,000
gallon tanks or larger. The port's strategic location at the intersection of
two of the world's busiest waterways and all of the nation's Class I rail
lines provides significant competitive advantages for multimodal companies
moving international cargo to and from the Midwest.”
Co. of Chicago, one of the largest craft breweries in the U.S., received 20
tanks from Europe in 2015, shipped through the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor,
after receiving 29 in 2014. The port also received 12 brewery tanks last
year for Bells Brewery in Kalamazoo, Mich., and four tanks for Revolution
Brewery in Chicago.
meanwhile, a key driver for 2014's record, fell below that year's total but
were well ahead of the five-year average.
cargoes handled by the port in 2015 included fertilizer, grain, and salt.
“Last year was a
very good year for the port and the credit goes to our port companies who
helped attract the cargoes,” Heimann said. “We continue to look for new
opportunities to grow and diversify our product mix to withstand market
swings and further improve our business. Nearly $2 million was invested in
port infrastructure in 2015 to increase cargo-handling capacity and improve
multimodal connections for our port companies.”
projects included construction of a new mooring space for barge fleeting,
upgrades to multiple dock areas, replacement of over 1,300 feet of rail
track, and rebuilding two railroad crossings.
Ocean ships and
Great Lakes vessels aren’t the only users of the Port of Indiana-Burns
Harbor: river barges provide the port with a vital year-round link not only
to more than 20 states through 12,000 miles of rivers but also to global
markets by way of ports on the Gulf of Mexico.
highlight: September’s announcement of a new Great Lakes shipping
partnership between Indiana and Qu