Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Lakes Shipping Saves Money

A study released recently shows that Great Lakes freighters are the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to transport many goods. The fact below illustrate some of the high points of this information.

Shipping season starts on Wednesday, March 25. It will be interesting to see the impact of the economic downturn on the shipping industry.

Are any of you readers going up to the Soo for the opening of the shipping season? Please let us know and tell us where you think the best ship watching location is.

Here's a numerical breakdown of the Great Lakes navigation system and the so-called "lakers," freighters that never travel outside of the lakes.

1,600 miles: Length of the navigation system, extending from Duluth, Minnesota, to Ogdensburg, New York; the system spans lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Eric and Ontario.

63: Commercial ports on the Great Lakes.

173 million: Tons of cargo carried by lakers in 2006.

44,000: Jobs directly related to Great Lakes maritime transport.

54,000: Mining industry jobs that depend on Great Lakes shipping.

138,000: Steel industry jobs with ties to Great Lakes freighters.

$3.6 billion: Savings realized annually by industries that use Great Lakes freighters instead of trucks or trains to move cargo.

607 miles: Distance a Great Lakes freighter can carry one ton of cargo on one gallon of fuel.

70,000: Tons of cargo that can be carried by a 1,000-foot-long freighter; it would take 3,000 semis to carry that much cargo.

Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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