- Supply Chain Solutions will begin a new shipping route from the Port of Muskegon to the Port of Milwaukee after receiving the first marine highway designation on Lake Michigan, NIWI reported last week.
- The Michigan-Wisconsin shipping route could eliminate at least a million trucks and semi-trailer trucks from traveling the crowded Borman Expressway in northwest Indiana each year.
- Supply Chain Solutions supports the new route across Lake Michigan as a means of avoiding Chicago traffic congestion. Ships should begin the new route at the end of summer.
The Port of Chicago continues to experience a heavy import-export traffic and Chicago highways remain congested and slow, so this new shipping route should help relieve Chicago's burden. Ultimately, the route should accelerate shipments from Michigan to Wisconsin much faster than shipments going through the Port of Chicago or truckers driving through the Chicago area, and in the long run, decrease productivity costs.
Although maritime shipping is usually slower than trucking, the Chicago area and port have become so overwhelmed that the new route from the Port of Muskegon to Milwaukee might actually be faster than a load carried by a trucker driving from Michigan to Wisconsin. The Chicago area is one of the top 100 bottlenecks for trucking, so a route that cuts across Lake Michigan will help shippers and carriers develop more efficient strategies for delivering shipments quickly.
According to a 2012 study conducted by the Illinois International Ports District, shippers prefer to transport hazardous cargo via barge rather than via truck or rail, so the new shipping route is also an opportunity for these shippers to utilize safer transit.