Seaports create jobs, propel economy

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Like ports worldwide, we have an ongoing commitment to remind our community and its leaders about the important role we play in South Louisiana and as a vital link to the global economy.

The importance of ports in our region is well documented.  According to IHS Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2016 totaled 3.49 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.01 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.71 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$941 billion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.07 trillion.

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, we’re committed to keeping our ports navigable, secure and sustainable.

We are proud to join hundreds of Western Hemisphere seaports in the celebration of Ports Day. In support of workers, farmers, employers, manufacturers and consumers everywhere, we are excited to meet the growing demands of the future.

The Port of South Louisiana, founded in 1960, has grown in size and strength to become the largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere as well as, according to a recent report by international shipping magazine Fairplay, the 16th ranked port in the world out of 5,000 ports. The Port of South Louisiana’s mission is to promote maritime commerce, trade, and development along with establishing industrial facilities resulting in job creation and a stronger tax base for the region.

The Port of South Louisiana is not only the #1 grain exporter in the United States, distributing over 50 percent of the nation’s grain, but also the highest ranked exporter in North America.

The resident industry within the Port includes companies in the petrochemical, fertilizer, and logistics trades.

The tri-parish region has attracted $23.262 billion in investments from these businesses, primarily due to location and the Port’s many competitive advantages.

The Port of South Louisiana handles over $69 billion in trade annually that supports over 30 thousand direct jobs (6 out of 10 jobs) in the River Region, which translates to over 83 thousand jobs (1 out of 25) in the state of Louisiana.

Regionally, the Port contributes $1.8 billion in income, $14.4 billion in revenue, and $72.5 million in state and local taxes.

As stated in its mission, the Port continues to encourage foreign and domestic ventures to establish industry in the River Region and works assiduously to improve its infrastructure, thereby creating job opportunities for the citizens of the River Parishes.

— Paul Aucoin, executive director, Port of South Louisiana