Our Work

Commercial Navigation

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River maritime transportation system is vital to the economies of the United States and Canada. The system moves 200 million tons of freight each year and saves customers approximately $3.6 billion per year over any other transportation mode, while creating jobs in port communities and supporting industries such as manufacturing, steel production, agribusiness and power generation. However, ensuring the continued viability of commercial navigation in the Great Lakes requires maintaining and investing in harbors, ports, shipping channels, locks and related infrastructure, including regular dredging. These activities require close regional and binational coordination, given the interdependent nature of the system and the critical role played by key infrastructure like the Soo Locks and the St. Lawrence Seaway. In its longstanding role as an advocate for the regional water-based economy, the Great Lakes Commission works to improve the efficiency, competitiveness, security and sustainability of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River maritime transportation system.

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