Ports of Indiana hires for new business development initiatives

Written by Heather Ervin
Credit: Ports of Indiana

Credit: Ports of Indiana

Maritime industry veteran Ian Hirt and senior rail executive Matt Service have joined Ports of Indiana to help develop new cargo and rail projects for the state of Indiana. 

Hirt will lead targeted cargo development efforts for Ports of Indiana, including establishing new container shipments, and Service will lead rail development efforts at all three ports and explore expansion projects outside the existing ports.
“Ports of Indiana is committed to growing our economic impact for the state and we have identified key opportunities to expand our current operations with the help of two senior industry executives,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Jody Peacock. “Ian and Matt bring extensive experience and proven records of success for developing rail and maritime cargo projects. Their expertise and institutional knowledge will be extremely valuable as Ports of Indiana seeks to launch new multimodal projects involving container shipping and rail expansions throughout Indiana.” 

Hirt previously served as port director at Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor from 2017 to 2021, and now has an ownership interest in Benchmark Marine Agency, a vessel agency servicing ports around the western Great Lakes. A graduate of Northern Michigan University, Hirt started his maritime career with Fednav, spent 12 years as general manager for Federal Marine Terminals at Burns Harbor and six years at general manager at North American Stevedoring Co. at the Port of Chicago.

Service is the owner of Service Rail Advisors and recently served as Chief Investment Officer at Pioneer Lines, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Patriot Rail. He has successfully led negotiations for more than $1 billion in mergers and acquisitions, and has extensive experience in strategic planning, business growth and continuous safety improvement for rail operations. A University of Mississippi graduate, Service also spent five years with CSX Transportation and five years with OmniTrax in various management roles.
“Ian and Matt bring extensive institutional knowledge and industry connections that will help lead multiple business development projects for Ports of Indiana,” said Jenna Richardt, Senior Vice President-Business Development & Engagement. “We are excited to enlist their services to lead key projects and explore uncharted territory for Ports of Indiana’s future growth and development.”

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