Ports of Indiana Invests to Expand Following 6% Cargo Growth in 2022

March 6, 2023

(Photo: Ports of Indiana)
(Photo: Ports of Indiana)

Ports of Indiana announced more than $20 million in expansion and maintenance projects have been approved following several years of cargo growth.

Ports of Indiana, which includes Jeffersonville, Burns Harbor and Mount Vernon, handled 11.9 million tons of cargo in 2022, resulting in a 6% increase from 2021 and 42% more than 2020. During 2022, the Burns Harbor and Jeffersonville ports both set new records for total annual shipments, and the overall cargo volume was the fourth highest in Ports of Indiana’s 61-year history.

The year-end totals were announced at the Ports of Indiana’s regularly scheduled first quarter Commission Meeting held Thursday in Jeffersonville.

“We’re excited to see the continued growth at our ports and this success is directly attributable to the world-class companies we partner with every day,” said Ports of Indiana Chief Executive Officer Jody Peacock. “Our industry is still recovering from the economic and supply chain challenges, but the continued growth in shipments is a very good sign, and the new business development opportunities we’re seeing indicate more growth is ahead. Our Commissioners have shown tremendous vision and commitment to supporting growth of Indiana’s economy by approving more than $20 million in projects that will immediately expand Ports of Indiana’s capabilities and help our customers grow.”

Actions taken by the seven-member bipartisan Commission included approval of a $13 million capital budget and up to $15 million in additional future investments related to three federal grants. Major projects include new construction of three shipping berths and a bulk warehouse at Burns Harbor, a new barge shuttle storage facility at Jeffersonville, as well as a new dock winch system, truck scale and major maintenance projects at Mount Vernon. The Commission also announced new dates for upcoming meetings on June 15 in Mount Vernon and September 14 in Burns Harbor.

In 2022, Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled 3.45 million tons on Lake Michigan, up 2% compared to 2021 and 52% more than 2020. This is the second-consecutive year the port reached its highest annual shipment total since it began operation in 1970.

Bulk terminal operator Metro Ports helped the port handle record volumes of foundry coke (up 210%) and minerals (up 33%). The port also set a record for steel cargoes (up 13%) supported by efforts from the International Longshoremen’s Association, International Union of Operating Engineers and Federal Marine Terminals.

On the Ohio River, Ports of Indiana-Jeffersonville handled 3.46 million tons, up 7.3% compared to 2021 and 30% more than 2020. Jeffersonville reached its highest annual shipment total since it began operation in 1985. Cargo increases include DDGs (up 69.6%), fertilizer (up 19.7%), minerals (up 14.7%), oils (up 10%) and steel (up 9.5%).

Also on the Ohio River, the Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon handled 5.02 million tons, up 7.8% from 2021 and 42.8% more than 2020. The port saw increases in energy cargoes as coal increased by 39% and ethanol by 3%.

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