Seaports: Creating Jobs and Propelling the Economy
On Tuesday, April 4, seaports of the Americas will again celebrate Western Hemisphere Ports Day – an opportunity to highlight our industry’s role in job creation and economic prosperity. Ports are a vital part of the transportation infrastructure within the Western Hemisphere connecting farmers, manufacturers, workers and consumers to the global marketplace.
Led by the American Association of Port Authorities – and united in our common goal of creating prosperity throughout the Hemisphere – the Port of Redwood City is proud to join hundreds of ports in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, to highlight and celebrate the value of ports.
Like ports worldwide, we have an ongoing commitment to remind our community and its leaders about the important role the Port plays on the Peninsula and in Silicon Valley as a vital link to the global economy.
The importance of ports in our region is well documented. According to IHS Inc. – World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2015 totaled 3.45 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.36 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.69 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.15 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.76 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.21 trillion.
However, the economic worth of all cargo in terms of jobs and business activity is much greater than its market value. According to Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pa., in the U.S. alone, port activity generates more than 23 million jobs and accounts for over one quarter of the nation’s economy.
Ports also play a critical role in providing goods that impact our everyday lives. Millions of tons of food, clothing, medicine, fuel and building materials, as well as consumer electronics and toys, move through Western Hemisphere seaports every day.
And the volume of cargo shipped by water is expected to dramatically increase over the next 20 years, as will the number of passengers traveling through our seaports. To meet these demands, the Port of Redwood City is committed to keeping our ports navigable, secure and sustainable.
At the Port of Redwood City, our imports of construction materials are vital to the local building trades industry.
On Ports Day, port leaders from across the hemisphere will gather in Washington for their annual spring conference to discuss trade policy, increasing freight volumes, and the planning necessary to meet the growing demand for goods. Most importantly, the Port of Redwood City will collaborate on ways our industry can be leaders in job creation and economic growth.