Our country’s ports are an integral part of the intermodal transport system and economic system. 95 percent of cargo imported into the United States is by sea. More than 360 ports and commercial buildings across the country facilitate the movement between destinations.
The port can have an impact on both regional and local economies. This section will give you more information about the economic impact of ports on local and regional economies.
This Ports Primer is centered on ports. Many of these principles can be applied to larger intermodal freight facilities, even if they aren’t near waterways. These facilities are sometimes called ports inland. Ports Primer focuses on transporting goods. However, there are many issues (e.g. There are many problems (e.g., idle ships) related to the passenger and travel port’s functions.
The National Economy
American ports serve as gateways to both domestic and international trade. They also serve as gateways to international commerce. The American Association of Port Authorities claims that U.S. shipping ports receive more than 99 percent of world’s cargo volume and 66% of its value.4 AAPA is the trade association of port authorities in Canada, the United States, and Canada. These numbers are significant considering that international trade accounts for around 30 percent of the U.S. GDP. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Increased demand for ships is driving increased calls to U.S. shipping ports.
Ports provide important job opportunities for local residents in many communities. Ports can either be employed by employers or offer jobs in related areas such as trucking, rail transport, and trucking. According to the 2014 American Association of Port Authorities report, deepwater ports provided assistance for 541,946 jobs. The median wage for employees was $44,273. Port activities generated over 23,000,000 jobs in related fields, and a significant economic benefit to the local community.
Major Shipping Commodities
The United States is home to the most important items. The ports are:
- Petroleum products (such as gasoline, aviation oil, and natural gas)
- Products and chemicals that are related to them such as organic fertilizers
- Products from the food and farm industry: flour, wheat corn flour, flour. Soybeans, rice. Cotton.
- Products made from wood: lumber and timberchips
- Iron and steel
- Soil, sand gravel, rock, and stones
Other commodities were also shipped through the largest US ports.
- Automobile parts, automobiles and machines
- Shoes, clothing, toys, and clothes
Ports can handle many commodities. Ports can concentrate on one type of commodity or several commodities. Many types can be handled by other ports.
Intermodal Transportation System
Illustration of the relationship between highway users and their goods.
The Intermodal Transportation System connects the products and consumers.
Ports can be used as transport hubs to facilitate goods movement between local companies and across the globe. Ports can connect consumers with goods via the rail system, highways or air transport, as shown in the illustration. These ports can be seaports, or smaller intercoastal ports that facilitate trade between local communities. Intermodal Transportation is the movement of cargo between different modes of transportation.
Ports might look at increasing their ability to handle larger vessels as the trade growth continues to increase. To increase transport capacity outside of port, ports may work with metropolitan planning groups and state as well Federal Departments of Transportation. This will reduce bottlenecks caused by restrictions on other transport methods.
National Defense and Emergency Preparedness
Ports are not only transport hubs, economic engines, but they also play vital roles in our nation’s defense. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) designated 15 of the United States’ commercial seaports as Strategic Seaports. This map is available. These ports could be used to support military operations.
Strategic Seaports to the United States
The large staging areas and their connections to rail infrastructure allow for the loading of non-containerized cargo. These areas can be used by ports for emergency relief, such as those of FEMA to assist in natural disasters.
Strategic Seaports are crucial in times of military outbursts and military surges. They were used by the DOD during Operation Iraqi Freedom for loading combat vehicles and aircraft. Operation Iraqi Freedom will require Strategic Seaports that have adequate rail infrastructure, sufficient storage areas, and skilled staff in handling military equipment not containerized. To aid military operations, it is possible to reduce port capacity and rail staging area as a result of increasing commercial container shipping.
Security at ports can pose a serious problem. Ports are subject to a lot of cargo movement. It is important that security measures are put in place to protect and monitor ports, while also allowing products to flow efficiently. Port security oversight is performed by many different actors. It is therefore difficult to manage. The President approved the National Strategy for Maritime Security in October 2005. This strategy provides strategies for protecting and recovering from natural and man-made hazards, as well as preparing for any catastrophes that might compromise security in ports throughout the country.