LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Ports of Indiana have set a record in annual shipments, handling more than 10.4 million tons of cargo in 2014.

According to a news release, this is the first time annual shipments exceeded 10 million tons in the port authority's 53-year history.

Along the Ohio River, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville shipped 2.4 million tons -- up 48 percent from 2013. The previous record was set in 2006 with around two million tons.

Jeffersonville Port Director Scott Stewart says steel and grain were the main commodities coming in and out of the port, and are the main drivers in the increase.

The region's auto industry continues to demand steel and Stewart calls last year's grain harvest "bountiful."

"This port, being located in the middle of what I think is one of the most vibrant regions economically in the midwest is at a real competitive advantage," he said.

Stewart added that in 2014, they had 18,000 rail cars, 200,000 trucks and 1,300 barges came through the Jeffersonville port -- more than ever before.

Stewart expects to break that record in no time, mostly because of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

"The East End Bridge being four minutes from right here is going to be a catalyst that will never be repeated in this generation."

Stewart says not only will the new bridges provide a more efficient route for trucks leaving the port, but its already attracting manufacturing companies.

"The concept of on time deliveries is hitting a new level thanks to the East End Bridge," said Stewart. "To be able to reach markets near and far by rail, water and truck is critical."

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