Beer Tanks Boost Burns Harbor

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A U.S. and Canadian maritime transportation initiative says total cargo shipments along the St. Lawrence Seaway, which includes the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor, are down 12 percent year-to-date, compared to last year. Despite the lower totals, the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership says a bright spot this season at the northern Indiana port has been shipments of large brewing tanks.

Burns Harbor Ports Director Rick Heimann says a total of 36 have already passed through the northwest Indiana port this year.

Twenty-nine were delivered throughout the entire 2014 shipping season. The large portion of the tanks this year, 16, was delivered to Lagunitas Brewery in Chicago. Bells Brewery in Michigan received a dozen tanks in June.

Heimann says "the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway allows companies to ship large tanks and project cargos right into the heart of the Midwest, which greatly reduces the cost and complications of trying to move dimensional cargo across the country by land."

To this point in the year, grain shipments have increased 60 percent and dry bulk goods were up by 8 percent. General cargo shipments were off 13 percent and iron ore, coal and liquid bulk shipment totals have all decreased by double-digits overall this year.

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