Ports of Indiana commends Canadian partners for helping to end dispute blocking Great Lakes ships

Ports of Indiana commends Canadian officials and union workers for reaching a tentative agreement to reopen the Great Lakes binational shipping channel this morning.

In a statement released the evening of Oct. 29, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), the Canadian entity which manages and operates the Canadian portions of the Seaway, announced it had a tentative agreement with UNIFOR, which represents the Seaway’s 360 unionized workers.

SLSMC employees returned to work at 7 a.m. (ET) today. Unionized workers will vote whether to accept the agreement within a few days, according to the SLSMC.

“We were very relieved to hear the news of a tentative agreement and I commend our partners in the Canadian government, the Seaway corporation and UNIFOR for finding common ground and quickly reopening this artery of global commerce,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Jody Peacock. “Before the locks were reopened, more than 100 ships had queued in just seven days, waiting to pass through the Seaway system. Indiana ranks 12th in the nation for maritime shipping and our Great Lakes customers depend on the Seaway for critical ocean access to world markets.”

Based on 2020 economic impact study by maritime consultants Martin Associates, the shutdown cost the shared U.S./Canadian economies an estimated $50 million to $80 million each day.

Another Martin Associates study on the overall Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway economy, released in July 2023, found that Indiana’s relatively small share of Great Lakes shoreline – 43 miles in total – generates 57 percent of all U.S. Great Lakes economic output and 42 percent of the combined U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes output.


About Ports of Indiana: Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system, and by serving as a statewide resource for maritime issues, international trade, and multimodal logistics.

Media Contact: Eric Powell, 317-233-6231 (or e-mail)


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