Northwest Seaport Alliance releases marine cargo economic impact report
The Northwest Seaport Alliance released an economic impact report detailing the benefits of marine cargo to the state of Washington. The combined ports of Seattle and Tacoma make up the fourth-largest container gateway in North America, and directly support 20,100 jobs and $1.9 billion in labor income. The marine cargo industry produced an average annual wage of $95,000 and directly supported $5.9 billion in business output.
“More than 90 percent of the world’s trade travels over water, with total volume expected to triple by 2050,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President and NWSA Managing Member Clare Petrich. “NWSA ports need to be primed and ready to serve the future needs of our entire state.”
“The 3.7 million containers the ports of Seattle and Tacoma handled in 2017 supported 15,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in income and benefits. These middle-class jobs, averaging $95,000, are the backbone of an inclusive economy and underscore the importance of protecting and investing in our working waterfront,” said Port of Seattle Commission Vice President and NWSA Managing Member Fred Felleman. “These port-related jobs are among the top-earning industries in King and Pierce counties.”
The Northwest Seaport Alliance represents one of the largest marine cargo gateways in the U.S. In 2017, more than 3.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) carrying 26.1 million metric tons of containerized cargo were handled at The Northwest Seaport Alliance across facilities at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. The majority of this cargo was international, though 700,000 TEUs were shipped to and from Alaska, Hawaii and other domestic locations.
Factoring in upstream business-to-business transactions (indirect) and worker earned income household consumption expenditures (induced), the NWSA activities supported 58,400 jobs across the state economy—the equivalent of a job multiplier of 2.9. In other words, for every direct job, marine cargo activities through the NWSA support an additional 1.9 jobs throughout the Washington state economy.
The NWSA containerized cargo facilities include six properties in the South Harbor and five in the North Harbor. In 2017, the NWSA handled more than 26.1 million metric tons of containerized cargo, directly supporting an estimated 14,890 jobs, $1.5 billion in labor income (including wages and monetized benefits) and $4.5 billion in business output.
Factoring in indirect and induced economic impacts, containerized cargo operations supported a total of 45,500 jobs, $3.2 billion in labor income and $9.7 billion in business output in 2017.
About The Northwest Seaport Alliance
The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Combined, the ports are the fourth-largest container gateway in North America. Regional marine cargo facilities also are a major center for bulk, breakbulk, project/heavy-lift cargoes, automobiles and trucks.