Chesterton Tribune



Ports of Indiana handle second highest cargo volume ever in 2016

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The Ports of Indiana handled nearly 3.9 million tons of cargo during the fourth quarter of 2016, the highest quarterly total in the organization's 55-year history, surpassing by 300,000 tons the previous record set in the second quarter of 2015.

In 2016 the state's three ports' shipped nearly 11.3 million tons, the second highest volume in history and the third consecutive year in which the ports exceeded 10 million tons . Since 2014, the Ports of Indiana has handled 34 million tons of cargo, the highest three-year total since Indiana's ports opened.

Major cargoes included coal, steel, grain, fertilizer, and limestone. Shipments of soy products were the highest in Ports of Indiana history, up 6 percent over 2015, while oil volumes were up nearly 18 percent and minerals increased 4 percent.

“Thanks to our world-class port companies and other businesses that use our facilities, our ports remain one of the most vibrant port systems in the heartland of America,” Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper said in a statement released on Tuesday. “With our total 2016 shipments more than two million tons higher than the previous five-year average, a global steelmaker announcing plans to build a processing plant at our Jeffersonville port and several existing port companies making significant capital investments during the year, the prospect for continued growth at the ports is certainly encouraging.”

On Lake Michigan, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled 2.6 million tons in 2016 completing the highest three-year total in the port's history. Grain shipments were up 57 percent, coal up 11 percent, and large-dimensional cargoes up nearly 25 percent as the port continues to be a preferred handler of significant project cargoes, such as beer fermentation tanks and wind turbine components. Ratner Steel will complete an $8 million expansion at the port next month, adding 100,000 square feet to its steel processing facility.

Maritime operations at the state's three ports contribute over $7.8 billion in total economic activity per year to regional economies and support nearly 60,000 total jobs, the statement said.


Posted 2/22/2017




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