The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon in 2018 registered the greatest volume of cargo through the port since it opened in 1976, handling 9.6 million tons of products - a 41% increase over shipments in 2017 - and stamped it into the record books for its unmatched shipping volumes.
The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, one of the largest inland ports in the country, repeatedly bested itself in 2018, setting quarterly records and registering May 2018 as a record shipping month before its tonnage in December 2018 surpassed that record. Continued strong international demand for coal sourced from the Illinois Coal Basin, overseas and domestic demand for agricultural products and investments to increase capacity by our port companies are all vital components of this historic achievement, according to port director Phil Wilzbacher.
The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon handled 61% more coal in 2018 than it did it 2017, and experienced increased shipments in grain (up 46%), soy products (up 26%), ethanol (up 9%) and dried distillers grain (up 8%).
"We celebrate this landmark achievement," Wilzbacher said, "and gratefully acknowledge the dedicated efforts from our port companies that helped us etch 2018 into the history books. Clearly, our port's success is a tribute to the continuing commitment of the people who work in this strong agricultural, energy and industrial port complex. It's where opportunities for business partnerships, the multimodal connections of river, road and rail and the added benefit of year-round access to worldwide markets through the Inland Waterways System allow businesses to grow, move their products efficiently and meet their market demands."
The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, with its 1,240 acres and 8,000 feet of riverfront, is the state's largest tonnage port and is the largest public port closest to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, which offers 12-month access to the Gulf of Mexico and, consequently, global markets.
"A maritime milestone worth noting this past year was the completion of the Olmstead Locks and Dam on the lower Ohio River," Wilzbacher said. "Infrastructure investments on our Inland Waterways are crucial to industries that ship products to and from the Gulf of Mexico not only through the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon but any port or terminal on the inland river system."
2018 was a banner year for the entire Ports of Indiana system. Unprecedented tonnage increases from cargoes moving through the state of Indiana's three-port system made 2018 the best year in the organization's history.
The Ports of Indiana, which includes the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor and the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville, handled 14.8 million tons of cargo last year, a 25% increase over 2017 and a 21% increase over its previous record year in 2015.