Study by Wayne State expert helps Michigan make its U.S. Supreme Court case to close Chicago canals to Asian Carp

Findings show lock closure would result in substantially less negative economic impact than Illinois officials claim

February 11, 2010


Dr. John C. Taylor, associate professor of supply chain management, Wayne State University School of Business is available to provide insight and analysis of the Asian carp situation based upon his report.


Dr. Taylor was retained by the Michigan Attorney General's office to provide expert analysis on the economic costs of closing the locks in Chicago to prevent infestation of the Great Lakes by Asian carp. He is a principal witness for the Michigan Attorney General's Office in its U.S. Supreme Court brief calling for immediate closure of the locks.

Included in the findings are the following supports for Michigan's case:

• Barge traffic in Chicago has been declining for many years.

• More than seven million tons of freight shipped through the locks in Chicago are low-value bulk commodities like sand, stone and scrap metal.

• Seven million tons of this low-value cargo is the equivalent of only two loaded freight trains per day in a region that has an average load of approximately 500 freight trains per day.

• Extra transportation and handling costs associated with lock closure are less than $70 million per year or less than thirteen-one thousandths of one percent of Chicago's annual GDP.

Dr. Taylor is a tenured Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and Director of Supply Chain Programs in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Wayne State University. Dr. Taylor co-developed the Logistics Major at Wayne State University between 1995-2002,before returning to head up Supply Chain programs in 2009. Prior to returning to Wayne State he created and developed the Supply Chain Management Major at Grand Valley State University. His teaching focuses on supply chain management, transportation policy, and international logistics.

Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information on research at Wayne State University, visit