Steel shipments helped the Ports of Indiana set a new record
of $1.89b of cargo handled in 2006. This was a 23-percent increase from 2005, which had been the previous 36-year high
Steel accounted for $955 million of the 2006 shipments, a 45 percent increase from the previous year. The Ports of Indiana surpassed $1 billion in cargo shipments for the third consecutive year – the only three years this has been accomplished since Indiana’s first port opened in 1970.
All three of Indiana’s ports on Lake Michigan and the Ohio River set individual records for total shipments in 2006 – Mount Vernon: $482 million (+20%), Jeffersonville: $588 million (+30%) and Burns Harbor/Portage: $820 million (+21%).
Last year, Indiana’s three ports shipped 8.6 million tons of cargo, which was a 12-percent increase from 2005 and more than every other year since 1994. Top cargoes by volume were grain, coal, steel, fertilizer, limestone, salt, asphalt, coke, cement, minerals and asphalt oil.
As a state, Indiana ranks 14th in the nation for waterborne shipping by volume according to the U.S. Corps of Engineers most recent shipping report. Indiana’s three ports are home to more than 60 advanced manufacturing and logistics companies that use the ports’ intermodal connections to reach international markets.
Grain remained the largest volume cargo handled at the three ports with 2.4 million tons (+8%), just ahead of coal’s 2.3 million tons (+6%). Grain and coal made up 54 percent of the total cargo volume at Indiana’s three ports, while steel and grain accounted for 78 percent of the total value.
The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville shipped an all-time high 1.9 million tons in 2006 to finish 14 percent ahead of its previous year. There were major increases in fertilizer (+55%), steel (+28%), salt (+25%) and grain (+8%).
The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon handled more than 4 million tons in 2006, its highest volume since 1998 and a 6-percent increase from 2005. There were major increases in cement (+31%), steel (+30%), minerals (+11%), coal (+7%) and grain (+4%).
In 2006, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor/Portage set a new record for steel shipments, which were up 57 percent from 2005. Sharing boundaries with two of the largest steel mills in the country, this port handles a wide range of steel-related cargoes including about 15 percent of all U.S. steel trade with Europe.
The Lake Michigan port surpassed its 2005 tonnage for all cargoes by 19 percent with 2.7 million tons crossing its docks last year. There were also shipping increases in asphalt oil (+335%), calcium chloride (+73%), coke (+47%), grain (+22%) and fertilizer (+15%), as well as new sugar shipments.