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Rail News: Intermodal

Indiana port bests quarterly volume record; Texas port forges business-development pact

The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon handled 1.59 million tons of cargo in fourth-quarter 2013, the highest volume for any quarter in the port's 37-year history and more than the total annual volume posted in each of the port's first five years of operation.

"This was the first time our shipments exceeded 500,000 tons for two consecutive months, let alone three consecutive months," said Port Director Phil Wilzbacher in a press release. "Coal, fertilizer and a record grain harvest were the primary reasons for the surge in shipments at the end of 2013."

For the full year, the port handled more than 4.15 million tons of cargo, up 21 percent compared with 2012 volume. The significant increase was driven by strong shipments of coal (up 47 percent), fertilizers (up 42 percent), grain (up 38 percent) and soy products (up 3 percent), port officials said.

Annual data also shows the port handled 26,000 rail cars, 85,000 trucks and 2,200 barges in 2013. The port is served by Evansville Western Railway.

Meanwhile, Port of Corpus Christi Authority (POCCA) and city of Pharr, Texas, officials signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday aimed at jointly promoting business opportunities between the port and Pharr International Bridge.

Shippers have targeted the port as a key ocean entry point for plant machinery and container cargo destined for South Texas and northern Mexico industrial regions, POCCA officials said in a press release. The authority and city plan to promote the intermodal land/seaport route between the bridge and port.

Pharr’s proximity to the port and a new "super corridor" that's developed from Mazatlán to Matamoros, Mexico, will help target cargo moving to and from the Far East, POCCA officials said. In addition, the bridge is ideally situated for oil and gas fracking opportunities in northern Mexico, they said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/16/2014