'Gamechanger' Comes to Life in Portage

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(Image courtesy of the Ports of Indiana) (Image courtesy of the Ports of Indiana)

A facility touted as a "game-changer" is now open at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. California-based Metro Ports, which has a vast network of sites throughout the U.S. port system, has opened a new bulk terminal facility in Portage. In an interview last month on Inside INdiana Business Television, Ports of Indiana Chief Executive Officer Rich Cooper said the partnership has the potential to double cargo business at the port within five years.

Metro Ports will manage loading and unloading of shipments along the East Harbor of the port. The services will be used by port tenants and outside companies in fields including steel, agricultural, manufacturing, energy and construction. The company has a network that includes 27 U.S. ports in 10 states.

In a separate, web-exclusive interview featuring Cooper and Metro Ports subsidiary brand Nautilus International Holding Corp. Chief Operating Officer Mike Giove, Cooper says some of the region's biggest-name companies will benefit from the bulk terminal. "All of those companies use a tremendous amount of bulk materials to produce their end product and they need somebody to handle that and to handle it efficiently. I really see Metro Ports as a gamechanger. I think they'll impact the supply chains for companies like ArcelorMittal, United States Steel, NLMK -- another steel producer at the port -- British Petroleum, perhaps, Cargill, those kinds of companies, I think, we can't wait to introduce Mike and his team to those major players in northwest Indiana," Cooper said.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is coming off a record three-year stretch, including handling nearly 2.6 million tons of cargo last year. Recently, some $2.5 million in infrastructure work has been pumped into the port and additional investment is planned by the statewide organization and the cargo company to boost capacity at the bulk terminal.

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