Ports of Indiana launches initiative to create international container terminals

Written by Heather Ervin
Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon tests container handling at general cargo dock.

Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon tests container handling at general cargo dock. (Credit: Ports of Indiana)

Yesterday, the Ports of Indiana Commission approved Resolution 24-01 to launch “The Indiana Container Initiative” in support of developing multiple international container terminals within the state of Indiana.

As a statewide port authority, Ports of Indiana operates multiple facilities on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan, but the state’s ports do not currently handle container shipments. The new initiative is designed to increase the organization’s efforts to pursue the development of international container facilities within Indiana’s ports and other locations throughout Indiana.

“Containerized freight represents a critical component of our state’s international trade and a new frontier for expanding our ports,” said Ports of Indiana Commission Chairman Micah Vincent. “This resolution clearly states our vision and commitment to develop new container facilities that will increase the value of our ports and provide critical shipping connections for Indiana businesses.”

The resolution authorizes and directs Ports of Indiana to do the following:

  • Vigorously pursue the development of international container terminals at appropriate locations within Ports of Indiana’s facilities and other Indiana locations.
  • Pursue regulatory approvals necessary to establish container facilities along Lake Michigan, the Ohio River, and at appropriate strategic inland locations throughout Indiana.
  • Make significant investments and seek out additional funding sources, whether through federal grants, public/private partnerships, or any other funding that may be available.
  • Explore international best practices for leveraging governmental assistance and legislative actions that can promote, incentivize, and advance global container shipments, and remove bureaucratic impediments for developing and operating container facilities.
  • Engage in partnerships, trade missions, international agreements, and collaborations to establish new global container shipping opportunities for Indiana.

“Containers are a high-value and fast-growing cargo for ports around the world and we see ‘The Indiana Container Initiative’ as a key driver for elevating Indiana’s role as a hub for global trade,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Jody Peacock. “Establishing new container facilities at the ‘Crossroads of America’ can create both economic and public benefits by reducing shipping costs, creating access to world markets, and establishing green shipping corridors that decarbonize supply chains.”

Ports of Indiana operates 2,800 acres of multimodal facilities at the median center of the U.S. population with connections to ocean vessels via the Great Lakes, barge traffic on the Ohio River, and five Class I rail carriers. As the only statewide port authority in the Midwest, Ports of Indiana also operates three railroads, has over 70 tenant companies providing value-add and specialized logistics services, and serves as the statewide grantee of Foreign-Trade Zones.

The organization is currently undertaking a $100 million capital campaign that includes eight federal grants, five docks, three rail yards, two cargo storage facilities, extensive cargo handling equipment and decarbonization planning. Ports of Indiana’s three facilities generate $8.7 billion per year in economic impact and support 50,000 jobs.

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