For the second year in a row, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville set an annual shipping record with total cargo tonnage for 2015 exceeding the previous year's volume by nearly 16 percent. The port handled 2.8 million tons of cargo in 2015, driven by heavy volumes of agriculture and steel products.
Shipments of steel more than doubled the previous record set in 2014, helped in part by rising demand in the U.S. auto industry, which sold a record 17.5 million light trucks and cars in 2015, according to Autodata Corp. Grain volume was the second highest in port history, following only the record harvest year of 2014. Port companies ship cargo to or from all 50 states and 12 countries, and the port's 'steel campus' includes 12 metal processing companies serving the automotive, appliance and construction industries.
"The first driver of the port's success is its ideal location on the Ohio River in metro Louisville," said Port Director Scott Stewart. "The second driver is an unrelenting commitment by our port companies to business development and continuous improvement in producing parts and products of the highest quality. This is why our port is able to efficiently ship grain and fertilizer destined for regional and world markets and deliver steel and aluminum components as well as motor oils that America's top six automakers count on."
For the year, the port handled approximately 1,300 barges, 17,000 rail cars and 180,000 trucks. Shipments of fertilizer, oils and minerals were up during the year and helped drive the record volume.
Additional 2015 highlights for the port included the award of a $10 million TIGER Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation which will partially fund a $17 million intermodal project and breaking ground on a $30 million transportation corridor that will link the port to the River Ridge Commerce Center's 6,000-acre industrial park.
"These are exceptional times at the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville," said Stewart. "Both our port and our region are experiencing an infrastructure bonanza. The $2.3 billion Ohio River Bridges project, a $30 million transportation corridor linking the port to the new East End Bridge and River Ridge, and the $17 million TIGER project that will expand the port's rail and bulk-loading capacity are investments of historical consequence. These projects will greatly improve the region's strength in advanced manufacturing and logistics."
The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville contributes over $1.5 billion in total economic activity per year to the regional economy and supports 11,200 total jobs.