Port of Detroit, Economic Impact Report


The Port of Detroit is responsible for close to 16,000 jobs in Southeast Michigan.  This translates into one-half billion in direct business revenue, $255 million in personal income, and $288 million in State and Federal tax revenue.  Click on the full Port of Detroit Economic Impact Report to learn more.



Michigan's annual shipments of limestone and gypsum account for 29 million tons or 80% of all Great Lakes shipments of these commodities

Michigan's ports handle:

- 80% of all Great Lakes cement shipments
- 25% of all Great Lakes iron ore shipments
- 30% of all Great Lakes coal shipments

The Detroit River is responsible for moving approximately 80 million tons of cargo annually Michigan is home to over 40 commercial ports, eight more then the other seven Great Lakes states combined.



Foreign Shipping and Related Commerce

Since 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway has provided a link between the world marketplace and the industrial and agricultural heartland of North America. The 2,000-mile long Seaway system is responsible for annual commerce exceeding 200 million net tons. Over 30 million people rely on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system, either recreationally or commercially.

- The shipping of foreign goods through Michigan waters translates into $2 billion to the State's economy
- Annually, approximately 7 million tons of overseas and Canadian cargo crosses our docks here at the Port of Detroit
- Foreign shipping accounts for 20% of all maritime activity with the State of Michigan

Benefits of Shipping

The environmental efficiency of Great Lakes shipping cannot be matched. A 1993 study by the Great Lakes Commission of eleven trade routes on the Great Lakes showed that by utilizing ships, we save 14 million gallons of fuel and reduce emissions by more than 4,300 tons. Roughly 500,000 tons of cement tons is delivered to Detroit from Alpena by lake freighters using approximately 800,000 gallons of fuel compared with roughly 2,000,000 gallons of fuel if these same shipments traveled by truck.

Did You Know This?

A vessel-to-rail shift for the eleven cargo flows would statistically result in:
- 36 rail crossing accidents
- 14 derailments
- one truck collision

The commodities trucks might carry statistically would produce:
- 141 truck/car accidents on the roads and highways, one quarter of which would have the potential for fatalities or serious injuries

• One 1,000 foot long laker can haul approximately 70,000 tons of cargo. That’s equal to seven 100 car trains, or 3,000 trucks.

• A ship on the Great Lakes can travel 607 miles on 1 gallon of fuel per ton of cargo. Comparatively, trains can travel 202 miles on 1 gallon of fuel per ton of cargo, and trucks can travel 59 miles on 1 gallon of fuel per ton of cargo

• Shipping on the Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Seaway System results in an average cost savings of $14.80 per ton in transportation and handling charges.

• More than 226,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada owe their existence to the commodities shipping industry on the Great Lakes. The State of Michigan alone has more than 525,000 of these jobs.• Detroit reveives over 3.2 million tons of iron ore every year

• I’ve attached the source for all of this. It should be posted in the same section as the economic impact study.


Our History

In 1701, Detroit was founded by Antoine de La MoThe Cadillac when he planted the flag of France at the foot of what is now Griswold Street. Detroit's geographic location between the upper and lower Great Lakes provided reliable access to several key forest, soil and mining materials. In 1749, concerted efforts were begun to strengthen the French hold on the Ohio territory....

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