Canada’s Province of Québec and the U.S. State of Indiana plan to launch a new partnership to intensify their collaboration in Great Lakes/St. Lawrence System shipping and maritime economic development.
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 facilitates the delivery of supplies along trade routes that have rail and highway capacity constraints and infrastructure challenges. Currently, short-sea shipping accounts for 20% of shipping traffic in St. Lawrence River ports and its development is one of the key priorities of the Québec Maritime Strategy.
Québec and Indiana plan to work together to increase this bilateral and multilateral collaboration on short-sea shipping, and 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.
“Indiana is a significant economic partner of Québec in the Midwest, especially with respect to maritime transportation,” said Québec Minister of International Relations and Francophonie Christine St-Pierre.
“This partnership with Indiana shows that the new Québec Maritime Strategy already has a strong positive impact in our relations with our largest trading partner, the United States. This bodes well for the future, as Québec’s exports to the Midwest have grown by 30% since 2010.”
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 province of Québec and the state of Indiana are connected by more than just water,” said Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann.
“We share strong manufacturing sectors, robust multimodal transportation systems, and a heavy reliance on Great Lakes shipping. As two of the leading maritime economies on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway, Québec and Indiana represent a large part of the business activity generated by shipping in this region. We hope this maritime partnership will lead to increased opportunities for collaboration between our economies.”
Recent studies have shown that for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region, maritime transportation accounts for CAD 34 billion in annual economic returns and more than 225,000 jobs.