April 4 is Western Hemisphere Ports Day, a day of recognition acknowledging the industry’s role as a key driver of job creation and economic prosperity. The day recognizes the industry’s commitment to education, training and environmental stewardship initiatives on behalf of the communities they serve across Canada and the Americas.
A collaboration between the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA), celebrations will involve Canada’s 18 Port Authorities and hundreds of ports in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
“As the unified and recognized voice of the port industry in the Western Hemisphere, AAPA is excited to continue to share its story around the globe,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO. “Ports Day is part of an ongoing commitment to remind our policymakers, policy influencers and the public about the important role ports play in facilitating the movement of trade and linking their nations to the global economy.”
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 $3.36 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.69 billion metric tons of cargo valued at $1.15 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.76 billion metric tons of goods, valued at $2.21 trillion.
In its National Economic Impact of the U.S. Coastal Port System, released in March 2015, Martin Associates found that, in the U.S. alone, ports’ contribution to the national economy reached nearly $4.6 trillion in 2014.
“Seaports of the Western Hemisphere are job creators and stimulators that deliver prosperity around the globe,” said Nagle. “However, we must take a moment to reflect on the needs of our industry and make plans today to address the infrastructure enhancements that make goods movement possible for tomorrow. It’s critical that wise investments are made to our transportation infrastructure to ensure that our industry can continue to make a valuable contribution to the economy.”
He added: “We’re proud to recognize the contributions of our member ports as we celebrate Western Hemisphere Ports Day. In support of workers, farmers, employers, manufacturers and consumers everywhere, our ports are united in planning for the future, creating jobs and propelling the economy.”
In Canada, ACPA members contribute significantly to the local, regional and national economies of Canada, are responsible for nearly a quarter of a million direct and indirect jobs that have higher than average wages, have donated more than $22 million to their local communities (2010-2014), and each year collectively they receive more than 1.3 million cruise ship passengers and handle approximately $203 billion in import and export cargo.
“Canada’s Port Authorities are potent job creators that deliver prosperity across the country,” said Wendy Zatylny, ACPA’s President. “We are proud to recognize all 18 of Canada’s world-class Port Authorities’ contributions in celebration of Western Hemisphere Ports Day. Canada’s ports are truly united for the future and as powerful trade enablers, we will continue to support Canada’s ambitious trade agenda.”