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AAPA RELEASES U.S PORT ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) released the results of an economic impact study on U.S. seaports, performed by Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

It has been seven years since Martin Associates last gauged the economic impact of ports nationwide, and port contributions have risen dramatically, according to the new study. The total economic value that U.S. coastal ports provide in terms of revenue to businesses, personal income and economic output by exporters and importers rose 43 percent to $4.6 trillion – 26 percent of the nation’s $17.4 trillion economy in 2014.

Other notable gains included “federal, state and local tax revenues generated by port-sector and importer/exporter revenues rose 51 percent to $321.1 billion; jobs generated by port-related activity jumped 74 percent to 23.1 million; and personal wages and local consumption related to the port-sector increased to $1.1 trillion, with the average annual salary of those directly employed by port-related businesses equating to $53,723,” according to the report.

Despite the recession from 2008 to 2012, Dr. John Martin, Martin Associates’ president, said U.S. ports and their economic value rose anyway. He noted that each dollar increase in the value of export cargo supports significantly more jobs in the U.S., than does a dollar value of growth in imports.

Martin Associates began the study by using 57 individual seaport impact models developed by the company over the last three years, including ports on the West Coast, Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes.

According to the report, the economic impact model results can also be used for updates and to test the sensitivity of the impacts to changes in marine cargo tonnage levels; labor productivity and work rules; new marine facilities development and expansion; the impacts of harbor and channel deepening; the impact of port shutdowns; and the impact of national trade policy issues.

In 2014, the cargo moving through the nation’s ports supported 23.1 million jobs in the U.S. Of the 23.1 million jobs, 541,946 jobs are directly generated by the marine cargo and vessel activity, according to the study.

The seaport models used by Martin Associates were based on the company’s 29 years of experience and more than 500 seaport economic impact studies for the majority of the port throughout the U.S. The 2014 study, in comparison to the 2007 study, used 57 models, increased from 44.

AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle, said that with the economic contributions of America’s seaports growing rapidly, there’s a significant and urgent need for more federal investment in enhancing the connections with those ports.

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