The top federal official presiding over the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway presented Indiana Governor Mike Pence with its flagship award today in recognition of an increase in international shipping at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.

INDIANAPOLIS (PRWEB) November 04, 2015

The top federal official presiding over the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway presented Indiana Governor Mike Pence with its flagship award today in recognition of an increase in international shipping at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.

Chief executives from the Great Lakes shipping community visited Indianapolis Wednesday to meet with Gov. Pence, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann as well as public and private leaders from Indiana. During the meetings, U.S. Seaway Administrator Betty Sutton presented the “Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award” to Gov. Pence in recognition of the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor’s increase in international shipments through the Seaway during the 2014 navigation season. Sutton is the top executive for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, a U.S. government corporation created in 1954 to construct, operate and maintain the St. Lawrence Seaway within the United States.

“The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor plays a critical role in the Great Lakes Seaway System, and its strong performance reflects the increasing strength of the overall regional economy,” said Sutton. “Marine transportation remains a catalyst for jobs and productivity for the state of Indiana and throughout the entire Great Lakes region, North America’s ‘Opportunity Belt’.”

Maritime operations at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor generate $4.3 billion per year in economic activity and support 32,000 total jobs. The port has previously earned the Pacesetter award in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2011.

“On behalf of the state of Indiana, I am proud today to accept the national Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award in recognition of the increased international shipping at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor,” said Gov. Pence. “The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River provide a vital transportation system for Indiana businesses and are an important gateway to global markets. Our state relies heavily on Great Lakes shipping to deliver raw materials to our steel and manufacturing sectors, and on the St. Lawrence Seaway for connecting our businesses to the world. Looking forward, Indiana will continue to leverage our multimodal transportation systems for economic growth.”

In 2014, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled more shipments than any year since opening in 1970. Total volume was up nearly 30 percent over 2013 driven by strong shipments of steel, grain and salt. The port also had a 35-percent increase in ocean vessels.

“Indiana’s maritime success is directly attributable to our location at the ‘Crossroads of America,’ our vast infrastructure for multiple transportation modes and the world-class companies that operate at our ports,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “This has been a winning combination that we will continue to build upon to ensure future growth and prosperity for our state and the regions where we operate.”

The Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award was instituted in 1992 to honor the achievements of Great Lakes ports aggressively marketing international exports and imports. The Pacesetter Award is the Seaway’s flagship award and is presented to those U.S. ports that achieve year-over-year improvements in cargo tonnage moved through the Montreal-Lake Ontario locks. Other Pacesetter Award recipients included the Port of Erie, Port of Duluth-Superior, Port of Milwaukee, Port of Cleveland, Port of Toledo, Port of Chicago and Port of Oswego.

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About the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor: The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened in 1970 and is operated by Ports of Indiana, a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, the Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system. Information: portsofindiana.com.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/11/prweb13063262.htm