The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon has set a new record for cargo. The port handled 6.8 million tons of cargo in 2017, more than any port in the nearly 60-year history of the Ports of Indiana and more than 200,000 tons more than the previous record set in 2015.

This is the third consecutive year the port handled more than 6 million tons. The record numbers were driven by increases in shipments of ethanol, fertilizer, minerals, and coal. Phil Wilzbacher, director of the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, says the port provides "critical" intermodal connections for the agriculture, energy, and manufacturing sectors.

"Barge and rail shipments of coal, ethanol, and various agricultural products increased significantly in 2017, especially in the last two months of the year," said Wilzbacher. "The last three years have produced the three highest total shipments in this port's 41-year history and that is a tribute to our port companies' continuing efforts to develop new markets and leverage the competitive advantage this port offers intermodal shippers."

In addition to the annual record, the port also handled more cargo in December than any other month in port history. The previous record was set in October 2016.

"This port is a great example of how its multimodal environment can attract business and drive significant economic development in the Midwest," said Rich Cooper, chief executive officer for the Ports of Indiana. "Having the ability to interchange waterborne commerce on the Ohio River with multiple Class I railroads provides our port family of businesses with a sustainable competitive advantage in an excellent business environment. This port handles more cargo than our other two ports combined and has become one of the primary reasons that Mount Vernon is the sixth busiest inland port district in the country."

The Ports of Indiana says business activities at the Mount Vernon port generate $1 billion in annual economic impact for the state and support more than 7,000 jobs.