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Independent Study Confirms Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway Shipping Vital to Economic Strength and Development

A comprehensive independent study of the economic impacts of the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system for the 2022 shipping season was released today, detailing the billions in economic activity and hundreds of thousands of jobs supported by the industry. Titled “Economic Impacts of Maritime Shipping in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region,” the study reviews the industry’s economic impacts from multiple perspectives, and showed that even in a year in which the world was gripped with pandemic challenges, global unrest, and supply chain concerns, marine shipping drove the North American economy forward.

The binational study presents results from both a U.S. and Canadian perspective.

An analysis of the “Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System” is most relevant to American stakeholders because it focuses on cargo traffic to and from Great Lakes ports. The study showed that from this perspective, 2022 maritime commerce supported:

  • $36 billion (USD) in economic activity;
  • more than 240,000 jobs, which generated almost $18 billion (USD) in wages;
  • the movement of 135.7 million metric tons of raw materials and finished goods; and
  • $6.3 billion (USD) in state and federal taxes.

An analysis of the “Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Waterway” is most relevant to Canadian stakeholders in that all Quebec impacts along the St. Lawrence are considered – including those outside the Great Lakes. The study showed that from this perspective, 2022 maritime commerce supported:

  • $66.1 billion (CDN) in economic activity;
  • more than 355,000 jobs that generated more than $30 billion (CDN) in wages;
  • the movement of 252.1 million metric tons of raw materials and finished goods; and
  • $12.8 billion (CDN) in taxes.

The English language version of the study can be accessed at https://greatlakes-seaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/eco_impact_full_2023_en.pdf

The French language of the of the study can be accessed at https:///grandslacs-voiemaritime.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/eco_impact_full_2023_fr.pdf

The study was requested by a public/private sector committee of American and Canadian maritime organizations, with the intent of providing the navigation community, transportation planners, government policy makers, and the public with a credible, independent assessment of the economic contributions made by commercial maritime shipping in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region throughout North America.  The industry’s vital contributions to jobs and wages, supply chain strength, business competitiveness across key commodities, and tax revenues provide strong rationale for major governmental initiatives aimed at enhancing infrastructure and improving supply chains. This includes the U.S. Government’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, which were aimed in part at investing in green technologies and infrastructure enhancement, the Canadian Government’s Green Shipping Corridor Program, which will support increased sustainability within the marine sector, and the Canadian Government’s commitment to establish a dedicated Transportation Supply Chain Office to enhance supply chain effectiveness.

In addition to the information presented in “Economic Impacts of Maritime Shipping in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region,” an additional study detailing the public and private investments made in the Great Lakes -St. Lawerence Seaway System will be released this fall.

Information regarding the author of the study and the industry collaboration that led to the study being prepared is included in the backgrounder that follows.

Media Contacts:

Jason Card

Chamber of Marine Commerce

jcard@cmc-ccm.com

(613) 447 5401

Steve Fisher

American Great Lakes Ports Association

fisher@greatlakesports.org

(202) 744 3234

 

Quotes

“Every day and in every part of the country, Americans count on goods that move along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. More than 147,000 jobs in America are supported by commerce on the Seaway, and through the Biden-Harris administration’s infrastructure investments, we’re strengthening these critical supply chains and supporting jobs in communities across America.”

– Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation

“The Great Lakes St Lawrence Seaway System is a crucial part of our supply chains, moving goods to and from Canada and to our international partners. This study underscores the significance of the Seaway System for Canadians, and for our US neighbours. Our Government’s top priority is supporting our supply chains, including in our marine sector, from the launch of a Canadian Green Shipping Corridors Framework to the creation of a Supply Chain Office, and we will continue to work with industry, including the Chamber of Marine Commerce, to build an economy that works for everyone.”

– The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

“This report bears out what we’ve long known – that the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System is crucial to the U.S. economy.  Not only is marine transportation the single most fuel-efficient and cost-effective way to haul goods from one place to another, but it also supports hundreds of thousands of essential jobs and generates billions of dollars in economic activity.”

– Adam Tindall-Schlicht, Administrator of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

“Marine shipping on the Great Lakes / St Lawrence Seaway System supports jobs and provides major benefits to communities across Canada and the United States. Every year this Green Shipping Corridor supports the safe and sustainable passage of vessels shipping the goods that drive the North American economy like grain, cement, ore, construction materials and steel products. This Martin report confirms the strategic importance of the binational St. Lawrence Seaway as an essential link in the supply chain at the heart of trade and commerce.”

– Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

 

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BACKGROUNDER

Study Author: Martin Associates

Martin Associates (John C. Martin Associates, LLC) is an internationally recognized economic and transportation consulting firm.  Since its founding in 1986 by Dr. John C. Martin, Martin Associates has conducted more than 1,500 economic and planning studies for nearly every port in the United States and Canada, as well as ports in China, Europe, Ireland, South America and the Caribbean. (https://johncmartinassociates.com/)

Study Sponsors

Martin Associates was retained to perform a comprehensive economic analysis of the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system by a coalition of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes and St. Lawrence marine industry stakeholders.

Specifically the study sponsors are:

  • The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (U.S.A): The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) is a wholly owned government corporation created by statute May 13, 1954, to construct, operate, and maintain that part of the St. Lawrence Seaway between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie, within the territorial limits of the United States. The mission of the Corporation is to serve the U.S. intermodal and international transportation system by improving the operation and maintenance of a safe, reliable, efficient, and environmentally responsible deep-draft waterway, in cooperation with its Canadian counterpart. (https://www.seaway.dot.gov)
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (Canada): The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for the safe and efficient movement of marine traffic through the Canadian Seaway facilities, which consists of 13 of the 15 locks between Montreal and Lake Erie. The Corporation plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the waterway remains a safe and well-managed system, which it shares with its American counterpart, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. (https://greatlakes-seaway.com/en)
  • The American Great Lakes Ports Association (U.S.A.): Founded in 1977, the American Great Lakes Ports Association (AGLPA) is an organization representing the interests of commercial ports and port users on the United States side of the Great Lakes. AGLPA works to influence public policies with the goal of fostering maritime commerce and related employment in the Great Lakes region. (https://www.greatlakesports.org)
  • The Chamber of Marine Commerce (Bi-National): Founded in 1959, the Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is a bi-national, private sector, not-for-profit association representing marine industry stakeholders including ship owners and ship operators, Canadian and U.S. ports, industrial shippers, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, terminals / elevators / logistics companies, and marine-related service providers. The Chamber advocates for safe, sustainable, harmonized and competitive policy and regulation that recognizes the marine transportation system’s significant advantages in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, Coastal and Arctic regions. (https://www.marinedelivers.com)
  • The Lake Carriers’ Association (U.S.A): Headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, the Lake Carriers’ Association advocates for its 13 member companies, which operate 43 commercial cargo vessels on the Great Lakes. Its mission is to promote the common interests of U.S.-flag vessel operators on the Great Lakes by creating change and recognition through legislative and regulatory matters. It aims to educate legislators, regulators and the general public on the role of Great Lakes shipping in the American economy and maximize the efficiencies of waterborne commerce in a manner that respects our environment. (https://lcaships.com/)
  • The Shipping Federation of Canada (Canada): Incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1903, the federation is the association that represents and promotes the interests of the owners, operators and agents of ships involved in Canada’s world trade. The Federation’s member companies are involved in all sectors of the shipping industry, including dry bulk, liquid bulk, container and cruise. The Federation’s key activities are to provide advocacy for the ocean shipping industry; offer operational support to its membership; disseminate information to members, governments and the general public; and provide training to members and other industry stakeholders. The Federation’s overall objective is to work towards a safe, efficient, competitive, environmentally sustainable and quality-oriented marine transportation system. (https://www.shipfed.ca/home)
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About the Chamber of Marine Commerce

The Chamber of Marine Commerce is a bi-national association that represents more than 100 marine industry stakeholders including major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, as well as domestic and international ship owners. The Chamber advocates for safe, sustainable, harmonized and competitive policy and regulation that recognizes the marine transportation system’s significant advantages in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, Coastal and Arctic regions.

Media Contact:
Jason Card
Chamber of Marine Commerce
jcard@cmc-ccm.com
(613) 447 5401