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Rail News: Intermodal

Indiana ports broke shipping records in 2015


The Ports of Indiana in Mount Vernon and Jeffersonville both achieved shipping records in 2015, port officials announced this month.

The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon set a new annual record last year by handling more than 6.6 million tons for the first time in its 40-year history, according to a Ports of Indiana press release. The record marked a 36 percent increase over 2014, and 30 percent more than the previous record set in in 1994.

In addition, Mount Vernon marked the highest annual increase in total tons handled at the port.

Shipments of coal, agricultural products, steel and other bulk commodities helped drive the increase. For example, the port handled its highest steel shipments last year, nearly doubling the tonnage from 2014. Salt shipments resulted in a five-fold increase, port officials said.

For the year, 3,600 barges 37,000 rail cars and 160,000 trucks accessed the port.

"This port is one of the busiest transportation hubs in this part of the country," said Port Director Phil Wilzbacher.

Meanwhile, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville set an annual record with total tonnage for 2015, exceeding the previous year's volume by nearly 16 percent, port officials said in a press release. The port handled 2.8 million tons of cargo last year, which were driven by heavy volumes of agriculture and steel products.

Shipments of steel in 2015 more than doubled the previous record set in 2014, helped in part by rising demand in the U.S. auto industry. Grain volume was the second highest in port history, following the record harvest year of 2014.

For the year, the port handled 1,300 barges, 17,000 rail cars and 180,000 trucks.

Additional highlights for Jeffersonville port included the award of a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which will help fund a $17 million intermodal project. In additional, the port broke ground on a $30 million transportation corridor that will link the port to the River Ridge Commerce Center's industrial park.

The projects will expand the port's rail and bulk-loading capacity, said Port Director Scott Stewart.

"Both our port and our region are experiencing an infrastructure bonanza," said Stewart. "These projects will greatly improve the region's strength in advanced manufacturing and logistics."

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