Journal of Transportation Management


Containerization has had an outsized impact on the growth of global trade over the past 60 years. The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway is an important bi-national waterway. Since the advent of containerization in the 1950’s there has been much excitement about the prospects of scheduled container shipping in the Great Lakes. There is a perception that direct container service will add value to the economy of the Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Basin (GLSLB). However, due to unique shipping constraints in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway, significant container service has not materialized. This research seeks to explain the current state of container shipping in the Great Lakes, as well as provide an analysis of the feasibility of future container shipping in the Great Lakes. It is very important for policymakers to understand both the opportunities for container shipping, and the barriers and issues with such services. A lack of understanding of these points can lead to missed opportunities and/or the potential for significant expenditures of time and money on unrealistic projects.