A study has revealed that the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway navigation system facilitated the movement of 285 million metric tons of cargo valued at $15.2bn last year.

The cargos were grain, iron ore, coal, manufactured iron and steel products, as well as heavy lift/project cargoes, and salt.

The economic impact study titled ‘Economic Impacts of Maritime Shipping in the Great Lakes St Lawrence Region’ also showed that the seaway system supported a total of 237,868 jobs across Canada and the US.

The system supported the creation of $35bn in economic activity, $14.2bn in personal income, as well as generated $6.2bn in federal/state-provincial/local taxes across both the countries.

Conducted by Martin Associates, the study was sponsored by the US Saint Lawrence Seaway Development, St Lawrence Seaway Management, American Great Lakes Ports Association, Chamber of Marine Commerce, Lake Carriers’ Association, and Shipping Federation of Canada.

US Saint Lawrence Seaway Development deputy administrator Craig Middlebrook said: “This study documents the enormous economic contribution the maritime industry provides to the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway region.

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“This study documents the enormous economic contribution the maritime industry provides to the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway region.”

“In addition to providing well-paying jobs, maritime commerce is one of the safest, most fuel-efficient and cost-effective ways to move goods that support key industries such as agriculture, steel manufacturing, and construction in the US.”

The study also found that the US states of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, witnessed the highest numbers of employment generated from the Great Lakes Seaway shipping last year.

As per the study, Soo Locks, situated in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, and connects Lake Superior to the lower four Great Lakes, was responsible for 123,172 jobs created by the waterborne commerce of the shipping system last year.

The Great Lakes St Lawrence Seaway System is a deep-draft waterway covering 2300 miles from Duluth in Minnesota, US, to the Atlantic Ocean.

It comprises a series of canals and 15 navigation locks between Lake Erie and Montreal, Canada.