The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened the 2022 international shipping season April 6 with the arrival of the RESKO, a 623-foot bulk carrier which came from Europe through the St. Lawrence Seaway.
To commemorate the first ocean vessel of the year, Lukasz Pionke, captain of the RESKO, was presented with a Ports of Indiana Steel Stein by Ryan McCoy, Burns Harbor port director.
“Our port handles lakers and river barges year-round, but the first ocean vessel is always exciting for businesses and our workforce at the port,” McCoy said. “We truly value the St. Lawrence Seaway’s direct connection to global markets and new business opportunities (and) we’re looking forward to growing the U.S. and Indiana economies again in 2022.”
Owned and operated by Polska Zegluga Morska P.P. Polsteam, the Bahamas-flagged Laker picked up its steel coils in the Netherlands, heading to the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor. The trip took about two weeks.
More than 6,450 metric tons of steel coils were unloaded by port stevedore Federal Marine Terminals with local workers from the International Longshoremen's Association and the International Union of Operating Engineers before Pionke and his crew continued to Milwaukee to deliver the ship’s remaining cargo.
The St. Lawrence Seaway opened its locks to ocean vessels for the 64th international shipping season in late March after closing in late December.
The St. Lawrence Seaway closes for maintenance in the winter, but the Ports of Indiana is open year-round handling cargoes by river barges, lake vessels, trains and trucks. The port handled 3.39 million tons of cargo in 2021, its highest annual shipment total since it began operation in 1970.