April 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

MarAd Releases Study On Great Lakes Shipping

The Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, has released a major study designed to promote U.S.-flag liner service in the Great Lakes overseas trades.

The study, entitled "Great Lakes-Overseas Marine Transportation Market Assessment," was performed by Simat, Helliesen & Eichner, a Boston, Mass.-based consulting firm. It establishes the essential criteria for successful U.S.-flag operations to and from the nation's "Fourth Seacoast." By employing market surveys, modal split analyses and required freight rate models, the study evaluated 42 variations of alternative marine transportation systems as potential competitors in a Great Lakes overseas system.

After considering market penetration, financial considerations and competition from alternative modes and routes, the study recommended two systems as having the highest potential for success in the Great Lakes service. The two systems are an all-container service employing five ships, and a combination dry bulk/container service requiring seven ships.

Both systems would provide weekly service between Detroit and Chicago in the Great Lakes and selected ports in Western Europe using the St. Lawrence Seaway. During the winter months, when the Seaway is closed, rail transportation would be employed to move the cargoes to and from Detroit and Chicago and East Coast ports.

The study provides detailed financial, marketing and management plans for both systems, taking into consideration the Great Lakes market environment which possesses many unusual operating conditions and challenging market service requirements.

The financial plans developed provide a full series of pro forma financial statements which indicate that both the full container service and the container/bulk service would be successful in providing a high level of dependable, competitive U.S.-flag service to those shippers located in the Great Lakes winterland.

The study contains a sound business analysis framework and a wealth of detailed information on Great Lakes shipping, such as port profiles, shipper interview information, cargo data and rail and terminal cost data, all which can be useful to those interested in shipping opportunities on America's "Fourth Seacoast." The report comprises the following four volumes: Executive Summary; Volume I; Supplement to Volume I; and Volume II — Appendices.

Copies are available for purchase from the National Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Va. 22161.

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