PORTAGE | The first ships are docking this week at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor for the start of the international trading season.
The first ship, Sloman Herakles, carrying 12,860 tons of liquid fertilizer from the Baltic Sea docked into the harbor Monday, according to a news release from the Ports of Indiana. The Sloman Herakles is flagged out of Antigua and Barbuda.
Another ship carrying 5,100 tons of steel coils from the Netherlands is scheduled to dock into the harbor later this week.
The ships travel from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Michigan by going through the St. Lawrence Seaway. It's estimated that more than 180 million tons of cargo move through the seaway each year into ports in the Great Lakes region, according to the release.
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is one of three ports in Indiana. According to the port's website, Indiana-Burns Harbor receives 15 percent of steel imported from Europe.
The port remains open throughout the year. The port handles cargo from lake vessels, trains and trucks, according to the release. The port saw a 16 percent increase last year in ocean vessels.
The St. Lawrence Seaway is open from March to December, according to the news release.