Analysis: The Economic Impact of US Ports


An infographic developed by Lancaster, Pa.-based Martin Associates and released by the American Association of Port Authorities shows the total economic impact of US ports in 2014, including the positive effects on jobs, total economic value and wages.

In 2014, US seaports generated more than US$1 trillion in direct, induced and indirect wages for the whole year.

Total business output reached a massive US$4.4 trillion in 2014. US ports and their private-sector partners had previously pledged to spend a total US$46 billion in new infrastructure between 2012 and 2016, with an expectation that investment amount would increase over the subsequent five year period (2016-2020) to address the needs of larger ships, and an increasing demand for goods by a growing U.S. population and a growing middle-class worldwide.

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A new wave of investment has recently begun at US ports, with many preparing for the inauguration of the Panama Canal in April, 2016. This investment would help to increase cargo volumes and therefore economic output.

According to Martin Associates and the AAPA, waterborne commerce contributed approximately US$4.6 trillion overall to the US economy in 2014 and those same businesses paid nearly US$321.1 billion in taxes.

(Source: John C. Martin, Ph.D. President of Martin Associates, Lancaster, PA / AAPA)

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