The Soo Locks are the lynchpin for the Great Lakes and plays a critical role in the national defense of the United States. Roughly 7,000 vessels pass through the Locks each year, hauling an estimated 86 million tons of cargo to industries in the U.S. and Canada. The Locks helped support more than 123,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada and $22.6 billion in economic activity in the U.S.
Each year, about 76 million tons of cargo transit the Soo Locks. The locks lift and lower vessels as they traverse a 21-foot drop in elevation from Lake Superior to Lake Huron, granting access to the lower lakes.