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  October 6th, 2015 | Written by

Québec and Indiana Announce Great Lakes Shipping Partnership

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  • Maritime transportation accounts for $34 billion in economic activity in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region.
  • Short-sea shipping currently accounts for 20 percent of traffic in St. Lawrence River ports.
  • Québec and Indiana will work together to increase collaboration on short-sea shipping.

The Province of Québec and the State of Indiana will launch a new partnership to intensify their collaboration in Great Lakes/St. Lawrence system shipping and maritime economic development.

The announcement was made last week by Québec Minister of International Relations Christine St-Pierre and Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann.

Recent studies have shown that maritime transportation accounts for $34 billion in annual economic returns and more than 225,000 jobs in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region.

“The province of Québec and the state of Indiana are connected by more than just water. We share strong manufacturing sectors, robust multimodal transportation systems, and a heavy reliance on Great Lakes shipping,” said Ellspermann. “We hope this maritime partnership will lead to increased opportunities for collaboration between our economies.”

“Indiana is a significant economic partner of Québec in the Midwest, especially with respect to maritime transportation,” said St-Pierre. “This partnership bodes well for the future, as Québec’s exports to the Midwest have grown by 30 percent since 2010.”

Québec and Indiana have identified short-sea shipping as a factor of regional economic development that would benefit from greater regional collaboration. They are launching a joint initiative to study opportunities for enhancing shipping routes between the two jurisdictions. Short-sea shipping is especially important because it facilitates the delivery of supplies along trade routes that have rail and highway capacity constraints and infrastructure challenges.

Short-sea shipping currently accounts for 20 percent of shipping traffic in St. Lawrence River ports and its development is one of the key priorities of the Québec Maritime Strategy.

Indiana currently handles nearly 30 million tons of cargo per year on short-sea shipping movements across the Great Lakes, predominantly consisting of iron ore for the steel mills located in Northwest Indiana. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, which is one of the leading steel ports on the Great Lakes, also shares a strong business partnership with the Québec-based Fednav Limited, a leading Great Lakes shipping line. Fednav provides regular ocean service to the Port of Indiana.

Québec and Indiana will work together to increase this bilateral and multilateral collaboration on short-sea shipping, and will invite other partners from the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence economic region to join them. Areas of collaboration could include industry workshops, exchange of best practices, applied research based on the needs of the shipping industry, as well as joint studies involving collaboration between industry, government and academic institutions.