The Ports of Indiana announced Tuesday that the country’s oldest stevedoring company – Metro Ports – will become the new bulk terminal operator at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. Starting July 1, 2017, Metro Ports will manage the loading and unloading of shipments along the port’s East Harbor for port tenants and outside companies shipping bulk cargoes, including products for the steelmaking, agricultural, manufacturing, energy and construction industries.
Metro Ports is the brand used to collectively identify stevedoring affiliates of Metropolitan Stevedore Co. and its parent company, Nautilus International Holding Corp., both based in Long Beach, Calif. The company’s roots date back to 1852 when its original parent corporation, California Stevedore and Ballast Co., was established during the Gold Rush era, and it has maintained continuous family ownership for 165 years. Metro Ports operates at 27 U.S. ports on the East, West and Gulf Coasts in the states of Washington, New York, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, California, North Carolina and Georgia. This is the company’s only Great Lakes facility.
“Having a 165-year-old company like Metro Ports select Indiana to launch its Great Lakes operations is a tribute to our state’s business climate and our extremely successful port system,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “Indiana’s robust maritime economy leverages shipping connections to domestic and international markets through the Great Lakes and the inland river systems to support 155,000 Hoosier jobs and generate $21.5 billion in annual economic activity. We’re happy to see Metro Ports recognizes tremendous economic opportunity in establishing a port terminal at the ‘Crossroads’ and ‘Cross-waterways’ of America.”
Metro Ports handles a wide range of bulk and breakbulk cargoes around the country, including aggregates, potash, coke, coal, cement, fertilizer, borax, bauxite, RoRo, military, steel, wind energy, yachts and project cargo.
“Metro Ports is recognized as a world-class stevedore and terminal operator for handling bulk commodities,” Cooper said. “The corporation’s global focus and proven track record reflect a long history of providing the management, operational resources and expertise to work in a competitive environment to meet demanding safety, environmental and quality standards. We’re excited to partner with such a high-caliber team of professionals and are looking forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with them to grow business at the port.”
In 2016, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled nearly 2.6 million tons of cargo, completing the highest three-year total in the port’s history. In addition, the Ports of Indiana invested nearly $2.5 million into port infrastructure, including dredging and stabilization of two ship berths to increase dock capacity for handling Seaway draft vessels as well as replacement of 2,000 feet of rail track and rehabilitation of multiple rail turnouts. Additional investments are planned by the Ports of Indiana and Metro Ports to upgrade the bulk terminal to increase the port’s throughput capacity.
“We’re honored to be selected as the bulk terminal operator at the Port of Indiana,” said Michael Ferguson, president of Metro Ports. “We see tremendous potential here to leverage the port’s connections to ocean ships, Great Lakes vessels, river barges and multiple rail carriers, as well as the region’s powerful industrial base located within sight of downtown Chicago. Indiana was the obvious choice for us to expand our business into the Midwest and establish a Great Lakes presence. We could not have asked for a better business partner than the Ports of Indiana and are already working together with their team to develop new shipments that could significantly grow business in this region.”
Maritime operations at the port generate nearly $4.9 billion per year in economic activity and support more than 39,000 total jobs. The port currently has 110 acres available for development and is home to 30 companies that provide a range of advanced manufacturing and logistics services.
Source: Port of Indiana