The Port of Indiana is celebrating its 40th year in a big way: by handling
the largest shipment of project cargo in the port’s history.
Business, community, and Great Lakes officials joined port management for a
special celebration on Thursday commemorating the 40th anniversary of
Indiana’s first port. During the ceremony, Port Director Peter Laman
announced that the port is currently handling a project cargo shipment that
is by far the largest ever to come through the Lake Michigan port.
The shipment of 134 complete turbine units was carried by 11 ships from
Canada Steamship Lines and Flinter Shipping from various locations around
the Great Lakes—and the final two ships were slated to offload their cargo
at the port today.
The shipment was coordinated by Vectora Transportation for final destination
in Bloomington, Ill. The windmills are being stored throughout the port on
about 20 total acres. The shipments were unloaded by port terminal operator,
Federal Marine Terminals, with a labor force from the International
Longshoremen’s Association and the International Union of Operating
This year, the port also handled its first outgoing shipment of wind
equipment as two ships of turbines from the Acciona Windpower plant in Iowa
are being exported through the port to Nova Scotia.
“It’s an exciting time around here right now,” Laman said. “This port is
truly becoming the preferred destination for wind cargo shipments in and out
of the Midwest because of our modern facilities, the central location and
our extremely efficient terminal operations.”
While the Port of Indiana opened in 1970 and handled its first ship in May
of that year, the road to establishing the state’s first port was a long
one. In 1939, the Indiana Board of Public Harbors and Terminals was
established to negotiate for land acquisition and construction of a public
port. In 1957, the Indiana General Assembly appropriated $2 million for land
acquisition for a port in Porter County. While the St. Lawrence Seaway
officially opened up the Great Lakes to international ships in 1959, Indiana
did not formally select a port site until 1961, and the groundbreaking did
not take place until Oct. 10, 1966.
Since opening in 1970, Indiana’s first port has grown significantly and now
contributes about $3.5 billion to the state economy. The port also generates
more than 25,000 total jobs and $1.5 billion in personal income as well as
$490 million in local purchases and $146 million in state and local taxes.
The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority that operates a system of
three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan in Mount Vernon, Burns
Harbor and Jeffersonville.
The Ports of Indiana manages approximately 2,600 acres, which are home to 60
companies and 800 acres of available industrial sites. For information,
please visit www.portsofindiana.com