The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon has reported handling a record 2.5 million tons of cargo during the fourth quarter of 2016.
That broke the record set in the fourth quarter of 2014. In a news release, the port said its fourth quarter 2016 volume was 44 percent higher than the previous record and is the highest quarterly volume for any port in Ports of Indiana history.
During 2016, the port handled 6.4 million tons of cargo, an increase of 34 percent from its previous five-year average and its second highest annual tonnage following the record 6.6 million tons in 2015.
The principal cargoes handled in 2016 were coal, grain, soy products, ethanol, dried distiller grains, minerals and fertilizer.
Salt shipments rose 32 percent, while talc and barite — two minerals used in the manufacturing of plastics and other products —were up a combined 23 percent.
In another development, two port companies announced or completed major expansions in 2016.
Consolidated Grain and Barge said it would invest more than $31 million to increase its soybean processing capabilities.
Valero Renewable Fuels, a producer of ethanol and a subsidiary of Valero Energy, completed a multi-million dollar project that provided new corn receiving equipment and a new distiller grain dryer system.