April 5th marks Western Hemisphere Ports Day, a time to acknowledge our industry’s role in job creation and economic prosperity, and its commitment to education, training and environmental stewardship initiatives on behalf of the communities we serve across the Americas.
Led by the American Association of Port Authorities and the Association of Canadian Port Authorities – under the banner “United for the Future” – we’re proud to join hundreds of ports in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, to highlight and celebrate the value of ports.
Like ports worldwide, we have an ongoing commitment to remind our community and its leaders about the important role we play in New Brunswick and Canada as a vital link to the global economy.
According to IHS World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2014 totaled 3.48 billion metric tons in volume and $4.9 trillion (CAD) in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.68 billion metric tons of cargo valued at $2.1 trillion (CAD), while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at $3.7 trillion (CAD). Finally, within the North American total, the 18 members of Canada’s national port system move 311.5 million metric tonnes of goods valued at over $400 billion (CAD).
However, the economic worth of all cargo in terms of jobs and business activity is much greater than its market value. According to the Association of Canadian Port Authorities activity at its member ports play a pivotal role in driving Canada’s economy by contributing $25 billion (CAD) to the nation’s GDP, creating 250,000 direct and indirect jobs that pay higher-than-average wages, and handling nearly two-thirds of the country’s waterborne cargo.
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 by 2020, 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.
On Ports Day, port leaders from across the hemisphere are gathering in Washington for their Annual Spring Conference to discuss how we can best manage increasing freight volumes and remain successful in a dynamic global economy, among other challenges. Most importantly, we will also continue collaboration on ways our industry can lead the way in terms of job creation and economic growth.
We’re proud to join hundreds of Western Hemisphere seaports in celebration of Ports Day. On behalf of workers, farmers, employers, manufacturers and consumers everywhere, we are truly united for the future.
Peter Gaulton, Chair of the Board of Directors
Port Saint John