Near-Record Volume for Burns Harbor Port

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The port fell short of last year's all-time record volume. The port fell short of last year's all-time record volume.
PORTAGE -

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor recorded the second-highest level of cargo tonnage in over two decades in 2015. The port handled 2.8 million tons and officials say the increased volume was driven in part by increased heavy-lift project cargoes, carbon products, limestone and oils.

Steel shipments were below 2014 levels but remained ahead of the five-year average. The port was launched 45 years ago.

"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," said Port Director Rick Heimann. "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."

2015 was a good hear for all three of Indiana's ports. The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville set a shipping record with 2.8 million tons of cargo and The Port of Indiana-Mt. Vernon set a new record as well with more than 6.6 million tons.

"Last year was a very good year for the port and the credit goes to our port companies who helped attract the cargoes," said Heimann. "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."

Indiana's ports were recognized by Governor Mike Pence in his State of the State address last month, where he called on the Ports of Indiana to "vigorously explore" a fourth state port. Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper said a fourth port would be a welcome addition to the state, as long as it didn't siphon activity from the other three ports.

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