February 5 - The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled 96 percent more heavy lift and project cargo shipments in 2015 than it did during the previous year.
"Our port continues to be a major inland hub for heavy lift cargoes as our terminal operators handled nearly double the number of large dimensional shipments during 2015 over the previous year," said port director Rick Heimann.
"The port has received multiple shipments for regional breweries in recent years, including 36 beer fermentation tanks in 2015. Many of these are 20,000 gallon tanks or larger."
Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Chicago received 20 more tanks through the port from Europe in 2015 after receiving 29 in 2014. In 2015, the port also handled 12 brewery tanks for Bells Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and four tanks for Revolution Brewery in Chicago.
Steel shipments, which were a key driver of volumes in 2014, were down year-on-year in 2015 but still well ahead of the five-year average, said the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.
Overall, the port handled 2.8 million tonnes of cargo in 2015 - the second highest tonnage in over two decades, claims the US gateway.
"We continue to look for new opportunities to grow and diversify our product mix to withstand market swings and further improve our business. Nearly USD2 million was invested in port infrastructure in 2015 to increase cargo-handling capacity and improve multimodal connections for our port companies," added Heimann.
Projects at the port included construction of a new mooring space for barge fleeting, upgrades to multiple dock areas, replacement of over 1,300 ft (396 m) of rail track and rebuilding of two railroad crossings.