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Cargo Operations: Beaumont, Burns Harbor

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Beaumont Offloads Infantry Brigade Equipment Shipped from Hawaii

A major military cargo event occurred last week at the Port of Beaumont with the unloading of the USNS Mendoca (T-AKR-303) by Beaumont based soldiers from the 842nd Transportation Battalion.

The ship arrived April 20 laden with more than 1,650 pieces of equipment comprised of vehicles, trailers, helicopters and other rolling stock from the Hawaii based 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division, all destined for a training mission at Fort Polk (LA) that is scheduled to begin May 12.  

Approximately 400 pieces will move by truck and the rest by rail, with the exception of 21 helicopters, which are being reassembled at the port and will be flown to Fort Polk. After the exercise, the equipment will be returned to Beaumont for shipment back to Hawaii.

Mendoca, a Bob Hope class roll-on/roll-off ship, is the largest vehicle cargo ship in the Navy’s inventory. With a length of 951 feet, it is nearly three times the length of a football field and just 172 feet shorter than an aircraft carrier. The vessel’s six decks can hold an army brigade’s worth of equipment packed end-to-end.

The Port of Beaumont is the fourth busiest port in the United States in terms of cargo tonnage and its busiest handler of U.S. military equipment. It serves as headquarters to the U.S. Army's 842nd Transportation Battalion.

This Apache helicopter rolling ashore in Beaumont from USNS Mendoca is one of 1,650 pieces of Hawaii-based Army equipment bound for a training exercise at Ft. Polk (LA)
Photo/842nd Transportation Battalion, Beaumont (TX)

Indiana-Burns Harbor Welcomes First Saltie of 2015

The arrival on April 20 of the 655-foot bulk carrier M/V Irma signaled the official opening of the 2015 international shipping season at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. Port officials welcomed the vessel with a ceremony that included the presentation of to the ship’s master of the Ports of Indiana "Steel Stein," which symbolizes northwest Indiana prominence in the national steel industry.

"Our port is open year-round handling Great Lakes ships and river barges, but the first ocean vessel of the year signifies the opening of Northwest Indiana's gateway to the world," said Port Director Rick Heimann. "These ships bring raw materials for local companies and transport finished goods from the Midwest to global markets. The shipping season also provides an important economic impact to the region for the skilled workers involved in the supply chain as well as many other related jobs and businesses that depend on these cargoes."

The Cypress-flagged Irma was carrying steel loaded in the Dutch port of Ijmuiden and stopped in Cleveland and Milwaukee before reaching Indiana.  During its stay in Burns Harbor, more than 50 longshore workers employed by port stevedore Federal Marine Terminals unloaded 9,400 tons of steel coils destined for Tata Steel in Chicago.

"We are always pleased with the arrival of the first vessel to the port each year as it symbolizes Tata's continued commitment to our Midwest customers," said Simon Golding, general manager for Tata Steel's Shipping and Logistics Operations. "The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor plays a key role in our supply chain as the predominant gateway into this market region. We are looking forward to another safe and successful season."

M/V Irma’s arrival at Burns Harbor on April 20 marked the opening of the Indiana’s port international shipping season.

Burns Harbor is one of three public ports administered by the state port authority, Ports of Indiana, from its headquarters in the state capital of Indianapolis. Maritime operations at Burns Harbor generate $4.3 billion per year in economic activity and support 33,000 total jobs. Overall in 2014, the Port of Indiana 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, limestone and salt.

"We had a great year in 2014 with record tonnage and activities at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor," said Michel Tosini, executive vice president, Federal Marine Terminals. "We are very encouraged by the prospect of another busy year in 2015 and through our long-term partnerships with the port and our customers, such as Tata Steel, we look forward to tackling the challenge."

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor 

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