A shipping industry study is detailing the public and private sector investment in the ports along the Great Lakes, including the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor. The results suggest more than $75 million has been pumped into infrastructure and waterway improvements over the last five years at the operation in northwest Indiana. January 14, 2015

News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The results of a year-long infrastructure investment survey were released today by the American Great Lakes Ports Association and the Canadian Chamber of Marine Commerce. The survey was commissioned by a coalition of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes-Seaway maritime industry stakeholders, and was conducted by Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The purpose of the survey was to document the level of public and private sector investments being made throughout the navigation system. More than 600 entities, including vessel operators, ports, terminals, and government agencies were contacted. The survey quantifies investments made over the past five years (2009-2013), as well as amounts already committed for future years. Data is broken out by industry sector, by country, by state and province, and by public vs. private sector.

Fast Facts

-A total of $7 billion is being spent on asset renewal and infrastructure improvements by both public and private sectors.

-Between 2009-2013, more than $4.7 billion has been invested in ships, ports and terminals, and waterway infrastructure.

-An additional $2.2 billion has been committed for infrastructure investments in the system by companies and governments.

-American, Canadian and international ship owners are spending more than $4 billion on the biggest renewal of the Great Lakes fleets in 30 years.

-Total port, terminal and waterway infrastructure investments by state and province total $2.9 billion.

Stakeholder quotes

-Betty Sutton, U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Administrator: “This study documents the significant investments, both public and private, that are being made in the Great Lakes maritime industry and signals a long term commitment to Great Lakes Seaway shipping. Through our Asset Renewal Program, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation is making the necessary investments to provide for a modernized infrastructure and cutting edge technology to ensure the safety, efficiency and reliability of the System for vessel traffic. Collectively, these financial investments reflect confidence in marine transportation as the most fuel-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to move goods to and from the 'Opportunity Belt' – the heartland of North America.”

-Steve Fisher, Executive Director, American Great Lakes Ports Association: “The survey results quantify what the Great Lakes maritime industry has long suspected – that businesses are bullish on the future of the region's economy. Hundreds of individual companies have independently made the same decision – to risk capital and reinvest in the Great Lakes maritime industry. The monies being spent reflect a commitment to the health and safety of the workforce as well as the environment. New technology and equipment will ensure that cargo moves efficiently, sustainably, and safely.”

-Mark Barker, President, Interlake Steamship Company: “Fleet renewal is an important aspect of our business plan. To see dollar figures over $300 million for U.S. capital vessel investments is gratifying. To have capital investments total more than $4 billion on both sides of the border for new ships and vessel upgrades is proof that the industry continues to be a vital part of the economic engine for North America for the long term.”

-Mark Pathy, President and Co-CEO, Fednav Limited: “Our investment in new fuel efficient, greener ships underscores Fednav's commitment to the bright future of international shipping on the Great Lakes-Seaway System, and our continued commitment to our customers and our partners in the industrial heart of North America. We look forward to accepting delivery of six additional vessels between May and November 2015 as part of a series of 27 new ships (of which 14 are Lakers) as part of our fleet renewal which began in 2012.”

Link to survey: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fybn264dlg4cpgn/Investment Survey – Final Version 1-10-15.pdf?dl=0

The American Great Lakes Ports Association represents the public port authorities on the United States side of the Great Lakes. Each of the member port agencies is a division of state or local government, or an independent agency created by state statute. As a group, and individually, Great Lakes ports work to foster maritime commerce in the region and economic development in their communities.

Source: The American Great Lakes Ports Association

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