New Study Shows Seaports Nationwide Deliver Prosperity

New Study Shows Seaports Nationwide Deliver Prosperity

Hanjin Shenzen

In a new study of the economic impacts of United States seaports on the nation economy, including those of the Port of New York and New Jersey, the evidence is overwhelming: seaports deliver prosperity.

An updated report of the benefits that U.S. ports contribute to the prosperity of the nation was released on April 21 at the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 2015 Spring Conference meeting in Washington, D.C. There, Dr. John Martin, president of Lancaster, Pa.-based Martin Associates, a leading provider of economic and strategic assessments of the world” transportation systems, debuted his firm” 2014 National Economic Impact of the U.S. Coastal Port System. The report showed the contributions of America” seaports in 2014 equaled $4.6 trillion, or more than one-quarter of the country” economy.

In the seven years since Martin Associates’ last nationwide ports economic impact study, the contributions of America” seaports to the nation” economy have risen dramatically. While overall economic impacts increased 43 percent, other notable gains since 2007 in Martin Associates’ new report include:

  • Jobs generated by port-related activity jumped 74 percent to 23.1 million;
  • Federal, state and local tax revenues generated by port-sector and importer/exporter revenues rose 51 percent to $321.1 billion; and,
  • Personal wages and local consumption related to the port-sector increased from $649 billion to $1.1 trillion, with the average annual salary of those directly employed by port-related businesses equating to $53,723.

“The growth in jobs and economic importance of America” seaports reflects the fact that the value of international cargo handled at these ports increased by $400 billion since 2007, reaching about $1.8 trillion in 2014,” said Dr. Martin. “It” important to emphasize that the key growth in our international trade was in U.S. exports, which saw a 60 percent increase in value over the past seven years.”

Dr. Martin also emphasized that the robust growth in the economic impact value from U.S. ports occurred despite the economic recession that severely hampered marine cargo activity between 2008 and 2012.

“At the local level, based on data from 2012, the Port of New York and New Jersey provides $18.3 billion in personal income, $28.9 billion in business income, and more than $6.1 billion in federal, state, and local taxes,” saidRichard M. Larrabee, director of Port Commerce for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The port also provides over 296,060 direct, indirect and related jobs, making it one of the region” largest economic engines. Both the new impressive national numbers and the Port of New York and New Jersey” local contributions show that seaports generate huge economic impact and jobs, and ports represent the backbone of our economy, as well as our connection to the world and our very quality of life.”

Larrabee reiterated that the Martin Associates findings “also show how vitally important it is that investment in our ports and landside transportation infrastructure be a high priority so that the U.S. can remain a global competitor, providing these positive impacts for generations to come.”

AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle agreed. “The fact is that while over a quarter of the U.S. economy is accounted for by port cargo activity, freight connections to our ports are crumbling, putting our economy at risk and reducing America’s competitiveness in global markets.”