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Rail News: Intermodal

Ports of Indiana log 12.6 million tons in 2023

The Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon (shown) receives as many as 50,000 rail cars each year.
Photo – Ports of Indiana


Ports of Indiana's three ports handled 12.6 million tons of cargo in 2023, the second-highest annual tonnage in its 63-year history.

The organization's highest annual tonnage was recorded in 2018, when the three ports in Burns Harbor, Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon registered 14.8 million tons of cargo.

Cargo rose 6% in 2023 on a year-over-year basis. The largest single cargo increase was marked by coal exports from Mount Vernon, which shot up 78%.

Fertilizer increased more than 11%, with double-digit gains logged in Mount Vernon and Jeffersonville, while soy products, minerals, ethanol, dried distillers grains and cement posted gains.

Ports of Indiana also registered significant growth in rail shipments last year, with rail carloads increasing 28% year over year to 65,141 rail cars. All three ports increased rail shipments, with Mount Vernon leading the way with 39,909 rail cars, up 42%.
The ports maintained substantial tonnages despite several factors that stymied the U.S. inland maritime industry as a whole: an extended lock closure on the Illinois River, near-record low water levels on the Mississippi River and a weeklong work stoppage by Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway employees, Ports of Indiana officials said in a news release.