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Great Lakes Regional Economic Impact

The Great Lakes-Seaway System is a vital transportation link for North America’s agricultural and industrial heartland.

Roughly 100 million people live and work in the eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces that border the System. The region accounts for 55 percent of North America’s manufacturing activity and about 50 percent of all North American retail sales. For this reason, Great Lakes shipping is able to effectively have a positive economic impact on North American commerce.

Click on a location on the map to view details

Great Lakes map Ontario Quebec Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan New York Pennsylvania Ohio Indiana Illinois

Ontario

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Ontario

Economic Contribution$9.6 billion

Total Employment64,000 jobs

Personal income$2.8 billion

Local Purchases$2.5 billion

Total Taxes Paid$1.2 billion

Marine Delivers for Ontario

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports more than 64,000 jobs.
  • More than 62 million metric tons of freight are shipped/received through Ontario's Great Lakes ports.
  • Major cargoes include iron ore, coal, coke, limestone, steel products, cement, salt, petroleum products, and machinery.
  • Ontario's Great Lakes ports are located at Bath, Bowmanville, Bruce Mines, Clarkson, Courtright, Goderich, Hamilton, Heron Bay, Marathon, Meldrum Bay, Michipicoten, Nanticoke, Oakville, Oshawa, Owen Sound, Perry Sound, Picton, Port Colborne, Port Credit, Port Lambton, Port Stanley, Prescott, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Serpent Harbour, Thessalon, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and Windsor.
  • The shipping industry serves Ontario's farmers, steel makers, manufacturers, power generation utilities, refineries, and construction industry.
  • Ontario is home to several shipyards and ship repair facilities.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

Quebec

Economic Contribution$6.2 billion

Total Employment35,000 jobs

Personal income$1.8 billion

Local Purchases$1 billion

Total Taxes Paid$780 million

Marine Delivers for Quebec

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports more than 35,000 jobs.
  • More than 57 million metric tons of freight are shipped/received by Quebec ports via the Great Lakes-Seaway system.
  • Major cargoes include iron ore, grain, and liquid and dry bulk.
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway acts as a valuable connection to Ontario and U.S. markets for ships carrying materials to and from Quebec ports located on the Lower St. Lawrence River.
  • The shipping industry serves Quebec’s mining industry and oil refineries. Quebec ports also act as transshipment hubs to transfer grain from western Canada and Ontario to ocean-going vessels to overseas markets.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

Minnesota

Economic Contribution$1.3 billion

Total Employment6,300 jobs

Personal income$440 million

Local Purchases$114 million

Total Taxes Paid$126 million

Marine Delivers for Minnesota

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports over 6,000 jobs.
  • More than 30 million tons of freight are shipped/received through Minnesota's Great Lakes ports.
  • Major cargoes include iron ore, coal, limestone, agricultural products, cement, machinery, and wind energy components.
  • Minnesota's Great Lakes ports are located in Duluth, Silver Bay, Taconite Harbor, and Two Harbors.
  • The shipping industry serves Minnesota's farmers, miners, manufacturers, and construction industry.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

Wisconsin

Economic Contribution$1.4 billion

Total Employment8,800 jobs

Personal income$622 million

Local Purchases$176 million

Total Taxes Paid$179 million

Marine Delivers for Wisconsin

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports more than 8,000 jobs.
  • More than 33 million tons of freight are shipped/received through Wisconsin's Great Lakes ports.
  • Major cargoes include iron ore, coal, coke, limestone, corn, soybeans, peas, steel products, cement, salt, pig iron, scrap iron, petroleum products, and machinery.
  • Wisconsin's Great Lakes ports are located at Ashland, Green Bay, Manitowoc, Marinette, Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Port Washington, and Superior.
  • The shipping industry serves Wisconsin's farmers, manufacturers, power generation utilities, paper manufacturers, and construction industry.
  • Wisconsin is home to several shipyards and ship repair facilities.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

Michigan

Economic Contribution$3.8 billion

Total Employment27,000 jobs

Personal income$1.8 billion

Local Purchases$637 million

Total Taxes Paid$520 million

Marine Delivers for Michigan

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports 27,000 jobs.
  • More than 61 million tons of freight are shipped/received through Michigan’s Great Lakes Ports.
  • Major cargoes include iron ore, coal, limestone, grain, steel products, cement, petroleum products, and machinery.
  • Michigan’s Great Lakes ports are located at Alpena, Brevort, Calcite, Charlevois, Cheboygan, Detroit, Drummond Island, Ecorse, Escanaba, Essexville, Frankfort, Gladstone, Grand Haven, Hancock, Harbor Beach, Holland, Houghton, Ludington, Mackinaw City, Manistee, Marine City, Marquette, Marysville, Menominee, Monroe, Munsing, Muskegon, Ontonagon, Port Dolomite, Port Gypsum, Port Huron, Port Inland, Presque Isle (UP), Presque Isle, River Rouge, Saginaw, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Clair, St. Joseph, Stoneport, Traverse City, Trenton, and Wyandotte.
  • The shipping industry serves Michigan’s farmers, miners, steel industry, manufacturers, power generation utilities, road maintenance agencies, and construction industry.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

New York

Economic Contribution$167 million

Total Employment2,000 jobs

Personal income$174 million

Local Purchases$34 million

Total Taxes Paid$52 million

Marine Delivers for New York

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports 2,000 jobs.
  • More than 2 million tons of freight are shipped/received through New York's Great Lakes ports.
  • Major cargoes include coal, limestone, grain, cement, salt, fuel oil, aluminum, machinery, and wind energy components.
  • New York's Great Lakes ports are located in Buffalo, Ogdensburg, Oswego, Rochester, and Tonawanda.
  • The shipping industry serves New York's agriculture and food products industry, power generation utilities, road maintenance agencies, manufacturers, and construction industry.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

Illinois

Economic Contribution$439 million

Total Employment7,000 jobs

Personal income$594 million

Local Purchases$153 million

Total Taxes Paid$166 million

Marine Delivers for Illinois

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports more than 7,000 jobs.
  • More than 7 million tons of freight are shipped/received through Illinois' Great Lakes ports.
  • Major cargoes include iron ore, coal, limestone, grain, sugar, soybeans, steel products, cement, petroleum products, and machinery.
  • Illinois' Great Lakes ports are located at Chicago and Waukegan.
  • The shipping industry serves Illinois' farmers, manufacturers, and construction industry.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

Indiana

Economic Contribution$7.9 billion

Total Employment48,000 jobs

Personal income$3.8 billion

Local Purchases$1.1 billion

Total Taxes Paid$1 billion

Marine Delivers for Indiana

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports over 48,000 jobs.
  • More than 28 million tons of freight are shipped/received through Indiana's Great Lakes ports.
  • Major cargoes include iron ore, coal, limestone, grain, fertilizers, steel products, petroleum products, and machinery.
  • Indiana's Great Lakes ports are located at Buffington Harbor, Burns Harbor, Gary, and Indiana Harbor.
  • The shipping industry serves Indiana's farmers, steel industry, manufacturers, power generation utilities, and construction industry.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

Ohio

Economic Contribution$3.0 billion

Total Employment28,000 jobs

Personal income$2.1 billion

Local Purchases$773 million

Total Taxes Paid$580 million

Marine Delivers for Ohio

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports more than 28,000 jobs.
  • More than 40 million tons of freight are shipped/received through Ohio's Great Lakes ports.
  • Major cargoes include iron ore, coal, limestone, grain, steel products, cement, salt, potash, gypsum, petroleum products, and machinery.
  • Ohio's Great Lakes ports are located in Ashtabula, Cleveland, Conneault, Fairport Harbor, Huron, Lorain, Marblehead, Sandusky, and Toledo.
  • The shipping industry serves Ohio's farmers, steel industry, manufacturers, power generation utilities, road maintenance agencies, and construction industry.
  • Ohio is home to several shipyards and ship repair facilities.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).

Pennsylvania

Economic Contribution$54 million

Total Employment854 jobs

Personal income$66 million

Local Purchases$19 million

Total Taxes Paid$18.5 million

Marine Delivers for Pennsylvania

Efficient, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

  • Supports 900 jobs.
  • More than 600,000 tons of freight are shipped/received through Pennsylvania's Great Lakes port.
  • Major cargoes include limestone, biodiesel fuel, and paper products.
  • Pennsylvania's Great Lakes port is located in Erie.
  • The shipping industry serves Pennsylvania's farmers, manufacturers, and construction industry.
  • Pennsylvania is home to a major Great Lakes shipyard and ship repair facility.
Download PDF Fact Sheet

In USD (2010)
Source: The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System.

Martin Associates (October, 2011).