The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor posted the largest increase in international cargo of all the Great Lakes ports during the 2010 navigation season, earning it the prestigious Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC). SLSDC Administrator Terry Johnson presented the award today to Port Director, Peter Laman of the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.
In 2010, the port registered an increase in tonnage of 73 percent over the 2009 navigation season. The port handled 351,600 metric tons of international cargo, primarily comprised of wind components, steel and construction equipment. In addition to the international tonnage, the port shipped 14 times more project cargo in 2010 than the previous year, resulting in a 43 percent increase in overall shipments and a total tonnage of 1.8 million metric tons.
“President Obama has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports and it is this kind of strong performance by the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor that is going to help do this,” said Administrator Johnson. “With the attainment of its ninth Pacesetter Award, the port continues to validate its critical importance to the region and the entire Seaway System.”
“This port enjoyed one of its best years on record in 2010,” said Port Director Laman. “We were fortunate to grow our business for the second consecutive year and are also very encouraged that 2011 shipments are more than 20 percent ahead of last year’s pace through July. Indiana’s economy depends heavily upon our Lake Michigan connections to ocean vessels via the St. Lawrence Seaway, lake carriers transiting the Soo Locks and river barges moving through the Chicago Area Waterway System. These waterways move vital goods to and from businesses throughout the Midwest and generate more than 100,000 jobs for Indiana.”
The largest shipment of project cargo in the port’s history occurred during the 2010 season as 134 complete wind turbine units arrived on 11 different ships from various Great Lakes locations. Last year, the port also handled its first outgoing shipment of windmill components as two ships loaded with wind turbines were exported through the port to New Brunswick, Canada.
The Pacesetter Award is presented annually to U.S. Great Lakes Seaway ports that register increases in international overseas cargo tonnage shipped through the Seaway during the navigation season. Originally known simply as the Pacesetter Award, the name change honors long-time Seaway trade analyst Bob Lewis who passed away in 2001.