An executive with the Ports of Indiana says a year-over-year increase in shipments in 2013 is a good sign for the state's economy. Vice President Jody Peacock says the amount of steel, grain and fertilizer passing through the ports is promising for the Indiana's manufacturing and agriculture sectors. The three ports handled 8.3 million tons of cargo in 2013, the highest total since 2006.

January 24, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — The Ports of Indiana handled 8.3 million tons of cargo at its three ports in 2013 – an increase of 20 percent over the previous year. This was the third highest total in the organization's 52-year history and the highest since 2006. Strong shipments of coal, steel and agricultural-related products helped drive significant increases in annual tonnage at all three of the state's ports.

“Our ports finished the year on a record pace, which does create some optimism for 2014,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. “In 2013, our ports handled more steel, fertilizer and minerals than any year in recent history. Steel, ag products and coal make up over 80 percent of the shipments at our three ports, so when those cargoes are up it bodes well for shipping in Indiana. It was good to see ag cargoes rebound in 2013 after the previous year's drought, and the positive trend in manufacturing creates a brighter outlook for future steel shipments.”

In the fourth quarter of 2013, the Ports of Indiana handled nearly 3 million tons of cargo, which is the highest total for any quarter since the ports opened. The Ports of Indiana has now experienced significant growth in shipments for five of the last six years.

“Maritime shipments are heavily influenced by manufacturing trends and agricultural markets, so it's gratifying to see steady growth in shipments over multiple years,” Cooper said. “This speaks to the success of the world-class companies located at our ports and their efforts to leverage the ports' multimodal connections to create sustainable competitive advantages that allow them to grow their businesses. Indiana's ports are built on a truly unique public-private partnership that has produced tremendous results for over 50 years.”

• On Lake Michigan, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor recorded its highest annual tonnage since 2006 and second highest since 1998 by handling 2.5 million tons of cargo. The 2013 shipments were 17 percent above the 2012 total and 23 percent over the previous five-year average. There were increases in shipments of steel, fertilizer, road salt, coal and limestone.

• On the Ohio River, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville recorded its highest annual tonnage since 2006 at 1.6 million tons, up 19 percent from 2012, with increased shipments of grain, steel, oils and minerals. As a result of a robust 2013 harvest, the port finished with its highest fourth quarter tonnage – nearly 80 percent more than the quarterly average for the previous five years.

• The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon also finished strong in 2013 with its highest quarterly shipments ever and handled 4.2 million tons for the year – up 21 percent from 2012. Key drivers for the Ohio River port were increases in coal, grain, fertilizer, coke and minerals. The fourth quarter was the first time port shipments exceeded half a million tons in three consecutive months and was more than 50 percent higher than the average quarter in the last five years.

About the Ports of Indiana – The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, the Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana's economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system. For more information, visit

Source: Ports of Indiana

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