A new study shows business activities at Indiana's three ports contributed
$6.38 billion to the state economy in 2011—up 18 percent since 2009—and
supported 51,577 jobs, also up 18 percent since 2009, the Ports of Indiana
said in a statement released on Monday.
“As the global economy struggles to emerge from a deep recession, U.S. ports
play key roles helping businesses improve their connectivity to supply
chains and customers, and also lower transportation costs,” Ports of Indiana
CEO Rich Cooper said. “Indiana's three ports handle a diverse mix of cargoes
for many different industries—steel-making, manufacturing, construction,
windpower, agriculture, alternative fuels and electric utilities. Businesses
here and abroad depend on our ports' road, water, and rail connections to
receive raw materials and get finished products to customers. Despite recent
economic uncertainties, the economic impact of our ports has continued to
grow at an impressive rate, reaching an all-time high in 2011.”
The recent study was conducted by Martin Associates—one of the foremost
maritime economic consulting firms in the country—as part of a multi-year
project started in 2009. The first study was peer-reviewed by economics
professors from Indiana University, University of Notre Dame, and Purdue
University and it showed 2009 business activities at Indiana's ports
generated 43,744 jobs and $5.42 billion in economic impact, the statement
said. “As part of the 2011 update, Martin Associates used the same model to
allow for comparisons of economic changes in the past two years. Increases
in employment, capital investment and shipping volumes at all three of
Indiana's public ports were key factors in the economic growth.”
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled a 56-percent increase in ship
tonnage and 75 percent increase in barge tonnage in 2011 compared to 2009,
with significant increases in shipments of almost all major cargoes. More
than $23 million in capital expenditures were also invested in port
infrastructure and facility expansions.
The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville handled a 4-percent increase in barge
shipments and a 70 percent increase in railcar traffic over the same period,
with significant increases in steel, fertilizer, and road salt shipments.
Since 2009, direct employment increased by 20 percent and more than $30
million was invested into infrastructure and port company facilities.
The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon handled a 3-percent increase in shipments
by all modes between 2009 and 2011, but experienced a slight decline in some
maritime cargoes, primarily coal, as a result of mild winter conditions.
Direct employment increased by 11 percent and over $50 million was invested
in port businesses as three facilities opened between 2009 and 2011.
Overall, the Ports of Indiana handled an 8-percent increase in maritime
shipments between 2009 and 2011, and recorded more than $100 million of
investments into port facilities. Employment increases related to port
operations also generated a significant increase in personal income (up 20
percent to $2.9 billion annually) as well as state and local taxes (up 21
percent to $271 million annually).
”Our mission is
to develop and maintain a world-class port system that operates as an agile,
strategically-driven, self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana's
economy,” Cooper said. “These numbers validate how our ports help grow
Indiana's economy, but this success would not be possible without the
world-class business partners at our ports, support from our local
communities and statewide economic policies that ensure Indiana has one of
the best business climates in the country.”