Ports of Indiana, the agency that operates Indiana’s public ports, has announced it is looking for potential operators for the international agricultural shipping terminal at Burns Harbor in Portage, Indiana, USA.

Operated by Cargill since 1979, the company announced this year that it would return control of the facility to the port from 1 June due to changes in its business model, Ports of Indiana said on 29 March.

The terminal services ocean ships, lake vessels and river barges, with high-speed loading capacities that can load 90,000 bushels/hour into an ocean vessel and unload 30,000 bushels/hour from a unit train, Ports of Indiana said.

“It’s the end of an era and a new beginning for one of the largest international ag terminals on the Great Lakes,” Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor port director Ryan McCoy said.

“… This change creates a unique opportunity to reimagine the facility and expand its capabilities going forward.”

Ports of Indiana said it was open to enquiries from interested companies until 21 April, with plans to issue a formal request for proposals in May to all qualified companies.

“We have received multiple inquiries from companies interested in expanding the facility. This is a unique deep-water terminal with… capabilities for shipping grain, DDGs and many bulk cargoes to and from ocean vessels,” McCoy added.

Opened in 1970, the Burns Harbor complex is home to more than 30 companies and handles approximately 3M tonnes of cargo/year.

Ports of Indiana said it was currently undergoing a US$32M expansion funded by two federal grants that included construction of two rail yards, new bulk and general cargo terminals, a bulk warehouse, and a truck marshalling yard.