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Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping Supports 227,000 Jobs and Generates billions in Other Benefits

October 18, 2011

PRESS RELEASE

                                                                                    Contact: Laura M. Blades

                                                                                     202-558-5123

                                                  

Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping Supports 227,000 Jobs and Generates Billions in Other Benefits

                                               

Washington, D.C. (October 18, 2011)– The Great Lakes maritime industry today released the results of a year-long study of the economic impacts of the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system. The study was commissioned by members of the marine shipping industry, in partnership with U.S. and Canadian government agencies.  Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a global leader in transportation economic analysis and strategic planning, was retained to conduct the study.

The study found that maritime commerce supported 227,000 jobs; contributed $14.1 billion in annual personal income, $33.5 billion in business revenue, and $6.4 billion in local purchases; and added $4.6 billion to federal, state/provincial, and local tax revenues. North American farmers, steel producers, construction firms, food manufacturers, and power generators depend on the 164 million metric tons of essential raw materials and finished products that are moved annually on the system. Additionally, marine shipping saves companies approximately $3.6 billion per year in transportation costs compared to the next least-costly land-based alternative.

“For the first time we have a definitive, detailed, peer-reviewed study documenting the enormous contribution which the maritime industry provides to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway region,” said Collister Johnson, Jr., Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.  “The jobs sustained by the maritime industry include not only those located directly on the waterfront – longshoremen, terminal employees, vessel operators, pilots, and truckers – but also steelworkers, miners, grain farmers, and construction workers, many of whose jobs would disappear but for a vibrant, healthy maritime industry.”

At a press conference call today with John D. Porcari, the U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary revealed the study numbers and fielded questions from the media.  U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, expressed his support for the study results. “This report bears out what we’ve long known – that the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway 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.”

The report provides the navigation community, transportation planners, government policy makers and the general public with a realistic assessment of the contributions made by the Great Lakes-Seaway system to the federal, state/provincial, and local economies. The region depends on ocean vessels, U.S. and Canadian lake carriers, and barges to deliver iron ore, coal, stone, salt, sugar, grain, steel, wind turbine components, and heavy machinery to keep bi-national businesses running.

Steven A. Fisher, Executive Director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, touted the value of the report to his members, “This report validates what the Association has long contended – that the Great Lakes-Seaway navigation system is vital to the continued prosperity of the region. A multitude of maritime jobs – on land and at sea – work together to help ensure that goods and services are enjoyed by a vast customer base.”

 

Links to the Executive Summary and the full report can be found on the Home Page of the Marine Delivers website: www.marinedelivers.com.  Questions concerning the study methodology should be directed to Steve Fisher at 202-625-2102.

 

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