The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled nearly 2.6 million tons of cargo in 2016, down from 2.8 million tons the previous year. Despite the drop, The Ports of Indiana says last year’s tonnage brought the port to its highest three-year total in history.
More than 8.6 million tons of cargo have been handled at the Burns Harbor port since 2014. The Ports of Indiana says grain shipments in 2016 were up 57 percent over the previous year while mineral and oil shipments increased 19 percent. Coal was up 11 percent as well.
The port was also bolstered by the December announcement from Minnesota-based Ratner Steel Supply Co. that it is planning to invest $8.8 million to expand its operations in Portage. The move is expected to add up to 37 jobs by 2019.
"Fourth quarter shipments were especially strong for us and included two export ships of Indiana grain, raw materials for the steel industry as well as several large-dimensional cargoes," said Port Director Rick Heimann. "Watching the Ratner Steel expansion take shape is especially encouraging because it further demonstrates that by using the port’s strategic location and multimodal capabilities, a company can gain a competitive advantage and grow its business."
The 2016 total for Burns Harbor is the third-highest tonnage in the last 10 years. The Ports of Indiana adds nearly $2.5 million in infrastructure improvements were made last year.