New Study: U.S. Great Lakes Shipping is a Massive Economic Driver

The following was released by the Lake Carriers’ Association on July 24, 2023.

“The Great Lakes Navigation System is the backbone of our Nation’s manufacturing, industrial, building, and agricultural economies.” That statement, included in the Fiscal Year 2024 Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, was reinforced with the release of a new economic impact study of maritime shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Friday, July 21, 2023.

The report titled; “Economic Impacts of Maritime Shipping in the Great Lakes” highlights the crucial role maritime shipping plays in the economic success of the nation. The industry drives $36 billion in annual economic activity and generates more than $6 billion in tax revenue. 147,350 U.S. jobs are tied to the maritime industry in the region and more than $17.8 billion in family sustaining wages are paid every year.

“The Great Lakes Navigation System is vital to our national economic security. We as a nation must continue to invest in the system to ensure it remains sustainable and resilient. The new large navigational lock in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, reliable Coast Guard icebreaking, and dollars for dredging and navigational structure maintenance are all examples of an investment in our security,” stated James Weakley, President of the Lake Carriers’ Association.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg opened the announcement of the report highlighting that the Great Lakes region is the third largest economy in the world behind the U.S. and China.

About Lake Carriers’ Association

Since 1880, Lake Carriers’ has represented the U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet, which today can move more than 90 million tons of cargos annually that are the foundation of American industry, infrastructure, and energy: iron ore, stone, coal, cement, and other dry bulk materials such as grain, salt, and sand.