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Port Report: 2015 another Banner Year

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Port Director Rick Heimann says that although year-end totals were not all in yet, 2015 is likely one of the best years in port history. “Final shipping numbers will likely be down slightly from last year’s all-time record but cargo totals through 11 months have already surpassed the five-year average,” Heimann said.

“The port continues to be a preferred hub for getting large dimensional cargoes into the heartland, such as large equipment, machinery and specialty tanks. There is a distinctive advantage for shippers to move large cargoes into the Midwest by water rather than trying to drive them here from one of the coasts.”

Other facts from 2015 at the port:

  • Year-end shipments are projected to be the second highest total since 1994
  • Shipments of bulk commodities including coal, limestone, minerals and oils are expected to have increased in 2015
  • Steel, which was a key driver for last year’s record volumes, is expected to be below last year’s total but still ahead of the five-year average
  • The continued growth of craft brewing caused the port to handle related shipments including 36 beer tanks (many of which had 20,000+ gallon capacities) from Europe
  • Nearly $2 million was invested in port infrastructure during 2015 to both increase cargo-handling capacity and improve intermodal connections

Heimann adds that a new Great Lakes shipping partnership between Indiana and Quebec was announced late in 2015. Heimann calls Quebec a key trading partner because that region serves as a gateway to the Great Lakes in similar fashion to how the Port of Indiana – Burns Harbor serves as a gateway to the U.S. Midwest and the Inland Waterways System.

Rick Heimann, Port Director
Port of Indiana – Burns Harbor