Thursday, October 2, 2014

Study: $4.3 Billion Economic Impact from Seattle, Tacoma Ports

By Mark Edward Nero

Marine cargo operations at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma supported more than 48,000 jobs in 2013 and generated nearly $4.3 billion in economic activity, according to a new study commissioned jointly by the two ports.

The marine cargo activity produced over $378 million in local and state taxes to support education, police, fire services and road improvements according to the analysis, which was performed by Martin Associates, a Pennsylvania-based firm that has conducted economic studies for ports through the US.

The study included direct jobs, such as trucking companies and railroads moving cargo to and from terminals and warehouses, longshore workers, steamship agents and freight forwarders; and indirect jobs like office supply firms, maintenance and repair firms and parts and equipment suppliers.

“This study reaffirms the critical importance of our ports as a trade gateway,” Port of Seattle Commission Co-President Stephanie Bowman said in a statement. “Port activities support tens of thousands of family-wage jobs across the state. These jobs are crucial to maintaining and growing our region’s middle class.”

The study comes on the heels of an agreement that the two ports, which sit 30 miles apart, reached in January regarding sharing information about operations, facilities and rates in order to help Puget Sound better compete in the global maritime industry.

“This clearly is a thriving, important industry in our state, and we need to continue investing and adapting to changing global trade to meet market demand,” Tacoma Port Commission President Clare Petrich said of maritime operations. “We continue to explore with our fellow commissioners from the Port of Seattle ways that we can work more closely together to maintain these critical jobs and grow cargo volumes through the Puget Sound region.”