From a national and international perspective, the role of MAFC’s maritime shipping is often overshadowed by the role of international maritime trade flowing through oceanic coastal ports. As shown in Table 1, MAFC states account for little of the nation’s direct foreign trade (4 percent of US export tonnage; 2 percent of US import tonnage). Direct foreign maritime trade between MAFC states and other countries only happens in the Great Lakes. In dollar value terms, MAFC states account for even less due to the fact that most export products are lower value-per-ton commodities (grain, coal, etc.) than the value added containerized freight shipped to and from coastal ports. MAFC’s overall share of total US maritime freight is also small at 14 percent.
In contrast to foreign trade, MAFC states account for a substantial portion of the nation’s domestic maritime freight movement, responsible for shipping 41 percent of total domestic tonnage and receiving 29 percent. The data also mask the MAFC region’s contribution to US agricultural exports. hipments from MAFC waterways to the Louisiana deep-water ports categorized as “domestic” are ultimately trans-loaded to ocean going vessels for foreign export.
Table 1: MAFC Share of US Waterborne Commerce (2010)
|State||Total Tonnage (millions of tons)||Domestic||Foreign|
|Shipped||Received||Within State (millions of tons)||Share Domestic (%)||Exports||Imports||Share Foreign (%)|
|Subtotal MAFC States||318,039||128,993||89,833||60,553||88%||22,906||15,755||12%|
|Total US (and Territories)||2,334,397||310,832||310,830||271,796||38%||557,842||883,097||62%|
|MAFC Share of US Total||14%||41%||29%||22%||4%||2%|
Table 2 summarizes the total MAFC Region maritime freight tonnage shipped by category (intrastate trade, interstate trade between MAFC states, trade between MAFC and other states, MAFC foreign trade). Table 3 the top commodity categories by total tonnage handled (shipped and/or received by ports in the MAFC region.
Table 4 summarizes maritime shipping by individual MAFC state. Appendix D and Appendix E provide additional details about dominant commodities for individual MAFC states. Intrastate shipping is freight movement that originates and is received within the same state. Commodity movements that originate and end within a MAFC state (intrastate) or between two MAFC states (interstate) is handled twice and therefore double counted.
Locally produced mineral commodities dominate intrastate shipping. Coal dominates internal shipping in Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio. Shipment of sand gravel and other aggregates is common to most maritime states, and limestone from Michigan accounts for much of the total in that category.
Regional interstate shipping is dominated by coal and iron. Coal from eastern states, MAFC states, and western states is shipped by river and the Great Lakes. Kentucky and Illinois are major coal producers and some eastern coal is loaded onto barges at MAFC ports. A significant amount of coal from western states (Wyoming, Montana) is moved by rail to the port of Duluth-Superior where it is loaded on ships for distribution throughout the Great Lakes.
Iron ore mining and steel production account for a significant share of shipping on the Great Lakes. Iron ore in mined near ports on Lake Superior and shipped to industrial centers on the other lakes for steel production. Limestone is quarried in Michigan and elsewhere and shipped to both mines and steel factories. Limestone is also used throughout the region in cement production and other uses. As noted earlier, western coal is the primary source of energy for steel production.
Movement of other non-metallic crude materials: primary manufactures such as pig iron and concrete, fertilizers and other chemicals, and petroleum products constitute the majority of the remaining regional maritime trade. Crude petroleum from North Dakota shale and Alberta tar sands are moved by pipeline and rail to Great Lakes ports such as Duluth-Superior for shipment to refineries elsewhere.
Total maritime trade between the MAFC region and the rest of the United States is also significant. Coal shipped from coal-producing states in the Ohio River basin is shipped to states throughout the MRS and to Louisiana deep-water ports for export. Corn, soybeans, and other crops are shipped to states of the lower Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico mostly for export but some for domestic production of livestock, poultry, and other products. Of the 198 million tons of maritime freight shipped between MAFC and the rest of the United States in 2010, coal and crops constituted 33 percent and 29 percent of the total, respectively. Sand and gravel used in construction, salt, petroleum and petroleum-based products, and chemicals (both fertilizers vital to Midwest agriculture and non-fertilizers) constituted most of the remainder of domestically shipped commodities.
Direct foreign maritime trade comprised the smallest category of maritime trade in the MAFC region because such trade is limited to ports in the Great Lakes. Iron ore, limestone, and coal are exported to Canada, while most food exports are shipped to other parts of the world.
Not reflected in these tables is the level of trade between states outside of MAFC that rely on the river system infrastructure located in the MAFC region. For example, some coal loaded on barges in West Virginia is bound for the Lower Mississippi and some chemical and petroleum products are shipped to eastern states. Maintenance of maritime infrastructure in the MAFC region is vital to the inland waterway network as a whole.
Table 2: MAFC Maritime Trade by Category (Tonnage Handled 2010)
|Total Tonnage (Short Tons)||Percentage of Total MAFC||Shipments (Short Tons)||Receipts (Short Tons)|
|MAFC Intrastate Shipping*||121,107,998||20.3%||60,553,999||60,553,999|
|Total Shipping Between MAFC States (excluding intrastate)*||239,510,766||40.1%||119,755,383||119,755,383|
|Shipping Between MAFC States and Rest of U.S.||198,189,680||33.2%||138,295,460||59,894,220|
|MAFC Foreign Trade**||38,593,941||6.5%||22,905,511||15,688,430|
*Intrastate Tonnage and Shipping between MAFC states is double counted because origins and destinations are internal, and cargo is handled at both ends.
**Foreign Trade excludes imports and exports shipped via ports in the Gulf of Mexico, which are included in “Shipping between MAFC States and the rest of U.S.”
Table 3: Top Commodities MAFC Maritime Freight (Total Tonnage 2010)
|Coal, Lignite, and Coal Coke||122,989,349||95,812,629||218,801,978|
|Sand, Gravel, Shells, Clay, Salt, and Slag||64,423,241||53,128,214||117,551,455|
|Iron Ore, Iron, and Steel Waste and Scrap||46,752,267||42,840,691||89,592,958|
|Food and Food Products||59,289,268||1,671,902||60,961,170|
|Unknown and Not Elsewhere Classified Products||23,182,792||21,083,533||44,266,325|
|Primary Non-Metal Products||8,139,787||6,922,645||15,062,432|
|Chemicals excluding Fertilizers||3,460,528||5,985,248||9,445,776|
|Primary Metal Products||703,155||4,926,928||5,630,083|
|Non-Ferrous Ores and Scrap||–||2,378,761||2,378,761|
Figures include all MAFC region maritime freight: internal to MAFC region, between MAFC region and rest of United States, and foreign trade. MAFC internal tonnages are double counted because handling at both origin and destination are internal to region. “Unknown and Not Elsewhere Classified” and “Not Classified” tonnage includes commodities that either don’t fall into a standard classification or in cases where release of data would essentially disclose shipping data of individual firms.
Table 4: Total Maritime Trade by MAFC State (2010)
|State||US Rank||Total Tonnage (‘000 tons)||Domestic||Foreign|
|Shipping (‘000 tons)||Receiving (‘000 tons)||Within State
|% Domestic vs. Total||Shipping (‘000 tons)||Receiving (‘000 tons)||% Foreign vs. Total|
|Subtotal MAFC States||536,862||257,985||179,665||60,553||93%||22,906||15,755||7%|
|Total US States + D.C.||2,893,044||603,654||614,561||269,761||51%||553,095||851,972||49%|
|MAFC Share of US Total||19%||43%||29%||22%||4%||2%|
Source: Waterborne Commerce of the United States Part 5, Table 4-2