The Great Lakes-Seaway system is critical to the general public. Steel used in automobiles and appliances is produced from iron ore transported by ship. Electricity used to illuminate homes and businesses is produced from coal transported by ship. Concrete used to pave roadways and construct buildings is produced from cement transported by ship. Bread used to feed millions of people is produced from grain transported by ship.
Great Lakes-Seaway system customers are large companies in the steel, manufacturing, construction, energy and agriculture sectors. They represent many of the basic industries that serve as the foundation of the region’s economy. Direct users of the waterway include companies such as:
- U.S. Steel
U.S. Steel Corporation utilizes Great Lakes-Seaway shipping to move large quantities of iron ore from its mines in Minnesota and Michigan to steel-making facilities in Gary, Indiana; Detroit, Michigan; and Nanticoke, Ontario. Steel products find their way into hundreds of consumer goods such as appliances and automobiles.
- General Electric
General Electric depends on Great Lakes-Seaway shipping to export diesel-electric locomotives built at the company’s Erie, Pennsylvania manufacturing facility. GE is the largest producer of locomotives in North America and sells the heavy equipment to both passenger and freight railroads all over the world.
- Morton Salt
Morton Salt uses Great Lakes-Seaway shipping to transport thousands of tons of bulk salt from the company’s mines in Fairport, Ohio and Windsor, Ontario, to communities throughout the region. Morton is a leading North American salt producer and supplies salt to municipalities and state/provincial transportation agencies for highway and road de-icing.
Cargill relies on Great Lakes-Seaway shipping to export North American grain to global markets. Although the company is involved in multiple business sectors, its agricultural trade operations are among the largest. The company is responsible for 25 percent of all U.S. grain exports and its grain handling complex at Baie Comeau, Quebec is the largest in North America, able to handle 440,000 metric tons of farm product.
- General Mills
General Mills utilizes Great Lakes-Seaway shipping to supply grain to its cereal production facility in Buffalo. The Minnesota-based company is a leader in the food products industry. Each year the Buffalo facility receives delivery of approximately 300,000 tons of grain shipped from Duluth, Minnesota, to produce breakfast cereals.