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The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) is an independent, not-for-profit association focused on global trade.

Goods Movement

In the global economy, U.S. and foreign companies that operate at West Coast ports play an increasingly vital role as major employers and as principal gateways and a regional economic force for exports and imports.  Our ports serve as the export gateway for U.S. goods sold overseas and the entry point for raw materials and consumer goods. Those materials feed the nation’s manufacturing industry, supply high-tech electronic and mechanical components and computers and fill the shelves of retail stores.  However, seaports are just one step in the international goods movement chain that also involves the onshore transport of goods through the trucking, rail and air industries.   

Shipping companies and terminal operators at West Coast ports serve the nation’s primary gateways for international trade.

  • Foreign trade through California ports totaled $500 billion in 2008 and account for 25 percent of Washington's economic output. 
  • Our companies contribute some $780 billion to the U.S. Gross National Product (GNP), create approximately 16 million jobs nationwide and generate approximately $210 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues.
  • Almost half of the cargo-laden containers bound for the North Atlantic states was delivered by ships and terminal operators at West Coast ports in 2003. 
  • Almost 95 percent of the containerized Asian cargo destined for the Central and Mountain states entered the country through West Coast ports.

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