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Fact Sheet: Ports of Indiana Economic Impacts

Fact Sheet: Ports of Indiana Economic Impacts

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Published by Unlockourjobs
The economic impacts of lock closure in Indiana
The economic impacts of lock closure in Indiana

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Published by: Unlockourjobs on Sep 14, 2010
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09/14/2010

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Fact Sheet:
Indiana Ports Analysis ± Economic Impacts of LockClosure
 
Background:
The economic well being of the Midwest and the broader Mississippi region
 
are inextricably linked with the valuable waterway transportationinfrastructure that has served the region for over a century. A recent study
*
 commissioned by the Ports of Indiana quantified just how important thelocks located on the Chicago Area Waterway System are to America¶s inlandwaterway transportation system.According to the Ports study, the locks are responsible for over $1.9 billion in
 
economic activity and 17,655 jobs across the region. But the impact doesn¶tend there ± lock activity is essential to the economic well being of maritimecommerce across the greater Indiana Lakeshore. Thus any closure ordisruption, could place at risk the more than 104,567 direct and indirectrelated jobs, $14.2 billion of economic activity to the state, and $567 millionof state and local tax revenue created by the state¶s booming maritime tradecorridor.
The Numbers:
The economic impacts of barge shipments to the Indiana Lakeshore regionare significant. Based on 2008 data, the most recent year complete figureswere available, barge traffic through the O¶Brien locks contributed thefollowing to the regional economy:
 
Category Economic Impact
Direct Jobs 3,394Total Jobs 17,655Direct Personal Income $141,502,699Total Personal Income $890,168,403Total Purchases $227,006,700Total State and Local Taxes $83,675,830Total Value of Economic Activity $1,909,005,610
 
 
The Facts
:
 
 
While the economic impact of the locks on Indiana is impressive,Indiana cargo made up only 27.8% of the total shipments through theO¶Brien lock in 2008. Thus the impacts of lock closure to the broaderregional economy could be much greater than the $1.9 billion dollarsidentified through this study.
 
What¶s more, Northwest Indiana is home to the largest steel-producingregion in the U.S. and the Chicago-area locks are vital to theseoperations. Thus the economic impacts of closure could potentially befelt throughout the US manufacturing sector.
 
It¶s also important to note that the Ports study was based on 2008data. As a result of the economic climate, the Ports handledsignificantly less freight than usual ± meaning the true economic andemployment impacts of the locks are likely higher than those cited.
o
 
In 2008, the Port handled 32 million tons of cargo, less than theprevious 4-year average of 34.2 million tons.
o
 
Similarly, the 1.9 million tons of barge activity handled by thePorts were less than the average of 3.0 million tons over thesame 2004-2007 period.
 
Barge shipments offer significant public benefits versus alternativemodes of transportation, including reduced shipping costs, fuelconsumption, ozone emissions, highway congestion andtransportation-related accidents.
 
The benefits of waterway transportation are not limited to thecompanies that ship directly by barge through the locks. As evidencedby the Ports study, other companies would suffer if the locks wereclosed. The slightest change in the logistics chain and costs candetermine whether Midwest products are shipped around the world ordown the road.
o
 
To completely shut down one mode of transportation would havea catastrophic affect on many types of businesses by cutting

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