FAQ

Interested in learning more about our ports?

Below find some our our most frequently asked questions.

Indiana has three public ports: Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor located on the southern tip of Lake Michigan in Portage, Ports of Indiana-Jeffersonville just across from Louisville, KY on the Ohio River, and Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon located 15 miles west of Evansville.

The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority established in 1961. We are a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy.

We are the only statewide port system that has ocean access via both the Great Lakes and inland river systems. Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor receives ocean and lake vessels as well as barges. The river ports in Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon only receive barges because of the shallow river channels. All three ports send and receive international shipments that are transloaded between barges and ocean vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.

Indiana’s three ports encompass 2,800 acres and serve as maritime industrial parks that are home to more than 90 businesses.

There are nearly 51,000 total jobs supported by port activity. This includes direct, indirect, induced and related jobs.

Most of the cargo is coming from or going to countries outside of North America. A small percentage is Canadian and just over a third is domestically oriented. More than half of the cargo shipments begin or end in a country across an ocean, such as England, China, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, France or the Netherlands.

The state of Indiana ships roughly 70 million tons of cargo by water each year at public and private terminals on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. The Ports of Indiana handles approximately 12 million tons of maritime shipments at its three ports. Primary cargoes moving through the Ports of Indiana include steel, grain, coal, fertilizer, limestone, ethanol, salt, cement and heavy-lift equipment.

Other unique shipments have included barge movements of Indiana National Guard troops, restored World War I tanks from Europe, the world’s largest crawler crane, beer tanks for Midwest breweries, the largest wind turbines in North America, hay bales for drought-stricken farmers in the South and an entire Boeing 727 airplane for a Chicago museum.

Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) are special designations given to areas that allow companies to postpone, reduce or eliminate duties on certain international products in the zone. While in an FTZ, materials can be stored, manufactured, processed, assembled, packaged or destroyed without being subject to U.S. duties until they leave the zone. The Ports of Indiana administers Foreign-Trade Zones for the state of Indiana.

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