Actions within the ports of Indiana rise, infrastructure investments deliberate – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate

PORTAGE, Ind. (Inside Business) – A new economic impact report shows maritime and industrial operations in Indiana’s three ports contribute $ 8.2 billion per year to the ’s economy, up 5% compared to the last report. The study, which is completed every five years, is based on data from 2019, which measures jobs, incomes, company revenues and economic performance.

The ports of Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan and Ohio River in Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon are operated by the ports of Indiana.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Vanta Coda, chief executive officer of Ports of Indiana, said Hoosiers often forget the value of these important commercial arteries.

“Every year we are either the 12th or the 15th largest maritime state. And so shipping plays a big role in our state’s economy, ”said Coda.

In 2019, almost 16.4 million tons of water freight were handled in the three facilities. Steel products and iron ore cause the greatest direct impact on sales at 46%. Agribusiness, including grain, ethanol, and other agricultural products, accounts for 27% of shipments.

With a view to the 2021 shipping season, the ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor have got off to a good start. The tonnage in the first quarter increased by more than 10% compared to the previous year.

“We believe this year’s Freight & Bulk Project will be strong and that steel will return to more normal levels. With the economy getting stronger, 2021 looks like a good year of recovery for our customers, ”said Coda.

In a broader sense, says the US Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., American and Canadian ports in the Great Lakes-St. The Lawrence Seaway System has handled more than four million tons of cargo since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened March 22 through April 30, an increase of nearly 4% over shipments through April last year.

“We look forward to a solid start to the 2021 navigation season with a 5-year average total tonnage tracking,” said Craig Middlebrook, assistant administrator, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. Project cargo and iron ore exports keep our ports busy at the beginning of the season. “

Early international deliveries in 2021 will start where 2020 left off. Last year, Burns Harbor recorded, according to the US Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. an increase in international tonnage of 77% compared to the previous year.

“International broadcasts; We always want that to grow, ”said Coda.

According to Coda, one of the reasons for the success of Indiana’s international ledger is “First Class Infrastructure for Multimodal Transportation”.

In order for this success to continue, however, the ports must invest in infrastructure. He says the agency plans to spend $ 50 million on infrastructure improvement projects by 2025. Burns Harbor would see $ 28 million worth of improvements and Jeffersonville would see $ 22 million in upgrades. Investments in the Mount Vernon facility are not far behind, according to Coda.

“Transportation is about getting bigger and better faster. We probably have $ 200 million to $ 250 million worth of projects over the next 15 years to think about, ”said Coda.

The ports business supports 51,000 jobs, including approximately 10,000 direct jobs at the facilities, most of which are employees for port tenants, according to analysis by the Indiana ports.

According to Coda, after the pandemic, Indiana is likely in the best position of any Midwestern to grow.

“We are a long term buyer from Indiana. We are a believer, ”said Coda.

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