Total Employment


Total Business Revenue


Total Taxes Paid



Indiana Relies on Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping

Indiana has 43 miles of shoreline and borders a small but vital area of Lake Michigan. Nearly 31 million tons of inbound and outbound cargoes are handled at Indiana’s four Great Lakes ports.

As the largest steel-producing state, Indiana relies on Great Lakes Seaway shipping for delivery of critical raw materials. For example, iron ore mined in Michigan and Minnesota is transported by lake ships to the large integrated steel mills at East Chicago, Gary and Burns Harbor. Limestone is another key raw material in the steel making process. Mined in Michigan, it is delivered to Indiana mills by Great Lakes vessel. Indiana steel finds its way into road construction, automobile production, appliance manufacturing, and scores of everyday products.

Economic Impacts (In 2018 USD)

JobsPersonal IncomeBusiness RevenueLocal PurchasesTotal Taxes Paid
66,158$4.89 billion$11.28 billion$2.6 billion$2.3 million

Investments (In 2013 USD)

Invested in Indiana port, terminal and waterway infrastructure
$75 million

Indiana Port Activity

PortAnnual TonnageMajor Cargoes Handled
Buffington Harbor1,338,000Limestone
Burns Harbor7,969,513Coal, limestone, iron ore, steel, grain, petroleum products, general cargo
Gary8,669,000Coal, limestone, iron ore, steel
Indiana Harbor12,354,161Coal, iron ore, limestone, petroleum products, general cargo

(Source: Waterborne Commerce of the United States, Part III, USACE, CY 2013)

Economic Impacts of Maritime Shipping in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region, Martin Associates (July 2018)
Infrastructure Investment Survey of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System, Martin Associates (January 2015)

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