Cargo jumps a whopping 52% at Indiana’s Burns Harbor port

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A bulk carrier arrives at the Burns Harbor port on Lake Michigan. (IBJ file photo)

Indiana’s Lake Michigan port in Burns Harbor has seen a big increase in shipments this year as the global economy rebounds from the pandemic. In June, the port handled a 52% spike in cargo compared with June 2020.

So far this year, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has had more than a 36% increase in maritime tonnage compared with the same period last year, said Vanta E. Coda II, CEO of the Indianapolis-based Ports of Indiana port authority.

“Steel is up more than 100%, and limestone has climbed nearly 90%, too. We look forward to additional growth in the second half of the year,” Coda said.

Through the end of June, international cargo shipped through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Great Lakes ports is up 8.37%, to 12.9 million tons, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

Great Lakes shipping officials attribute the boost to increased domestic construction, manufacturing activity and global export demand.

Shipments of cement are up 36%; gypsum, 79%; and general cargo, 61%. Iron ore volumes are up 14%, partly because of exports to Asia and Europe. Coke, another steelmaking input, is up 125%, partly because of exports to France, the Netherlands and other European countries.

“This time last year, many of these cargoes had fallen off a cliff due to the pandemic. It’s great to see marine shipping bustling again and supporting the accelerating recovery of so many American industries,” said Bruce Burrows, president and CEO of the Ottawa, Ontario-based Chamber of Marine Commerce.•

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