Cargo brought to Port of Palm Beach via rail, truck and ship.
Seaports are the backbone of a thriving 21st century global economy. In 2013 alone, some 1.3 billion metric tons of imported and exported cargo, worth nearly $1.75 trillion, moved through America’s seaports, while an estimated 900 million metric tons of domestic cargo with a market value of over $400 billion was also handled through these international gateways.
Port-related infrastructure connects American farmers, manufacturers and consumers to the world marketplace and is facilitating the increase of American exports that are essential to the nation’s sustained economic growth. In 2007, Martin Associates, of Lancaster, PA, reported that U.S. port activity was responsible for about 13.3 million American jobs and $212.4 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue.
Further, from 2007-2014, the annual impact of America’s seaports increased
- 43% to $4.6 trillion in total U.S. economic value
- 51% to $321.1 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue
- 74% to 23.1 million U.S. jobs
- 100% to $1.5 billion in personal wages and salaries.
Yet, a nation’s freight transportation system is only as good as its underlying infrastructure. As Port of Palm Beach Executive Director Manuel Almira states, “If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward,” when it comes to infrastructure maintenance and improvements and within ports. A forward thinking port is always working to improve its current facilities and discover means to expand.
Operations at Port of Palm Beach continued while the Southernmost slip underwent a $27.2 million overhaul.
In the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 2015 Surface Transportation Infrastructure Survey - The State of Freight , results indicate that the nation’s unsurpassed goods movement network needs immediate and significant investment in the arteries that carry freight to and from its seaports. Without that investment, the American economy, the jobs it produces and the international competitiveness it offers will erode and suffer, creating predictable and oftentimes severe hardships to the individuals who live and businesses that operate within its borders.
Key findings of the study included:
Nearly 80% of AAPA U.S. ports surveyed said they anticipate a minimum $10 million investment being needed in their port’s intermodal connectors through 2025, while 30% anticipate at least $100 million.
63% of ports surveyed reported their port is working directly with its regions’ MPO or Council of Governments in the development and planning of a freight project that is either underway or has recently been completed.
73% of AAPA members have on-dock rail, while most others have near dock rail.
Port of Palm Beach is the only South Florida port with on-dock rail.
The survey, which serves as the first step towards identifying the critical infrastructure needs of America’s seaports, can be found at: http://aapa.files.cms-plus.com/StateofFreight_Report_final.pdf.