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Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor extends Federal Marine Terminals as stevedore

Icarus, the world's largest liquid argon particle hunter, arrives by cargo ship at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor in Portage in this July 2017 file photo. The port has extended through 2023 its contract with its stevedore, Federal Marine Terminals, which onloads cargo like the particle hunter.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has renewed its contract with the stevedore Federal Marine Terminals through 2023.

Since 1999, Montreal-based FMT has unloaded and loaded steel, wind turbine blades, beer tanks, forest products, breakbulk cargo and heavy lift cargo including the Icarus, the world's largest liquid argon particle hunter that was shipped from Europe to the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont in 2017.

"FMT has been a vital collaborator with the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor since 1999," Port Director Ian Hirt said. "This consolidated operating agreement underscores FMT's commitment to the greater Northwest Indiana and Chicago markets."

Spun off from Fednav Limited, Federal Marine Terminals handles bulk, specialized and general cargoes along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The stevedore has 12 facilities along the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes, including at the 49-year-old deepwater port on Lake Michigan in Burns Harbor and Portage.

"FMT is solidifying our commitment to the port and our customers by investing in our fleet of equipment at Burns Harbor," said Matthew McPhail, FMT's vice president of sales and marketing. "FMT has recently ordered a new crane and we are bringing in a second crane to accompany it. FMT strives to meet the needs of all its customers, regardless of shipment size. Our ability to handle large-dimensional cargo is due to our safety-conscious staff, our modern equipment and the facilities the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor provides."

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor decided to extend the long-term stevedore's contract after a record amount of cargo passed through Indiana's port system in 2018, the most since the state's port authority was founded in 1961. The three-port system, which also includes two ports on the Ohio River on Indiana's southern border, handled 14.8 million tons of cargo last year, 25 percent more than the previous year and 21 percent more than the previous annual record in 2015.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.