MOUNT VERNON, Ind. - The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon handled more cargo in 2017 than any port in the 57-year history of Indiana’s port system. This was the third-straight year the port handled more than 6 million tons, resulting in a three-year average that was 60 percent higher than the previous three years. Port shipments exceeded 5 million tons only one time prior to 2015.
In 2017, the Mount Vernon port handled 6.8 million tons (+7% over 2016) and over 200,000 tons more than the port’s previous record set in 2015. Key drivers of the record shipments included increases in ethanol (+24%), fertilizer (+41%), coal (+9%) and minerals (+28%).
“This port provides critical intermodal connections for the agriculture, energy and manufacturing sectors,” said Phil Wilzbacher, port director for the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon. “Barge and rail shipments of coal, ethanol, and various agricultural products increased significantly in 2017, especially in the last two months of the year. The last three years have produced the three highest total shipments in this port’s 41-year history and that is a tribute to our port companies’ continuing efforts to develop new markets and leverage the competitive advantage this port offers intermodal shippers.”
The port shipped just under 20 million tons over the past three years, which was 7.4 million tons more than the previous three years. The port also handled more cargo in December than any other month in port history, exceeding the previous high set in October 2016.
“This port is a great example of how its multimodal environment can attract business and drive significant economic development in the Midwest,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “Having the ability to interchange waterborne commerce on the Ohio River with multiple Class I railroads provides our port family of businesses with a sustainable competitive advantage in an excellent business environment. Good highway access is a critical success factor for every port and leveraging our river and rail connections presents even more opportunities for large-scale industrial development. This port handles more cargo than our other two ports combined and has become one of the primary reasons that Mount Vernon is the sixth busiest inland port district in the country. We congratulate our port companies, shippers and service providers for their contributions toward this extraordinary success.”
Business activities at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon support 7,000 jobs and generate $1 billion in annual economic impact for the state, including $348 million in wages and $33 million in state and local taxes each year. Coal, soybean meal, soybean oil, ethanol, dried distillers grain, corn and wheat make up about 80 percent of the cargoes moving through the Mount Vernon port.