Washington, D.C. (December 12, 2018) – Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb accepted the “Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award” today from the federal official leading the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Pacesetter Award is the SLSDC’s flagship award, presented to U.S. Great Lakes ports that have registered significant increases in shipments of international cargo tonnage through the St. Lawrence Seaway compared to the previous year. In 2017, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor shipped nearly 704,000 metric tons of freight, achieving a 21 percent increase in international tonnage over the 2016 navigation season.
The award was presented by Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the SLSDC to Gov. Holcomb during the Great Lakes Seaway “Capitol Day” at the historic state capitol building. Chief executives from the Great Lakes shipping industry visited Indianapolis Wednesday to meet with the Governor as well as public and private leaders from Indiana to discuss the economic impact of Great Lakes Seaway shipping on the State and Great Lakes region.
“Your vision for the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to be a magnet for trade is inspiring, and your continued leadership and commitment is transforming that vision into reality. The many people involved in the port’s operations – from port staff, longshoremen, terminal operators, and your board members – have worked in unison to retain current customers and add new ones,” said Middlebrook.
After accepting the Pacesetter Award on behalf of the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, Gov. Holcomb presented an Executive Order proclaiming December 12, 2018 as “Great Lakes Maritime Day.”
Indiana plays a crucial role in cargo shipping on this binational navigation system, accounting for almost half of the U.S. economic activity related to shipping on the Great Lakes. In 2017, cargo movements on the Great Lakes generated economic impacts in Indiana supporting 66,158 jobs and creating $13.7 billion in economic activity.