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

Economic Impact

California

California’s ports serve as a major economic engine for the state and the nation.  In 2008, port facilities processed an estimated $500 billion of goods.  More than 40 percent of containerized imports enter the country through California ports, and nearly 30 percent of the country’s exports depart through them.  Their far-reaching economic contributions to the regional economy include:

  • The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach generate more than $10 billion in state and local tax revenues a year.
  • Businesses that receive imports or ship exports through the Port of Los Angeles generate about $12.1 billion and stimulate an additional $5.5 billion in local industry indirect sales.
  • Employees for businesses that receive imports or ship exports through the Port of Los Angeles spend about $4.1 billion in the region.
  • With more than $100 billion of cargo moving through the Port of Long Beach every year, foreign and domestic shippers and steamship companies spend more than $5 billion in the region.
  • More than $10 billion a year is spent on wholesale distribution services for goods imported through the Port of Long Beach. 

California ports also have a significant nationwide impact:

  • More than three million jobs across the country are linked to California’s public ports.
  • The Port of Los Angeles generates $21.5 billion in federal tax revenue.
  • More than $32 billion a year is spent nationwide on wholesale distribution services for goods that come through the Port of Long Beach.

For more information, please click here to visit the Port of Los Angeles website.

Washington

Puget Sound’s ports provide the most direct shipping link between major markets in Asia and the heavily populated East Coast.  Foreign exports directly and indirectly account for 25 percent of Washington’s economic output.

With Washington serving as a transshipment center, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are a major distribution hub for the many companies that maintain warehouses nearby.  The ports of Seattle and Tacoma each handle approximately two million containers a year.

The transport of goods traveling via rail or truck to retail locations throughout the region—or to warehouses before being shipped overseas—create jobs, business income and tax revenue for the state.  Their regional economic impact includes the following:

  • The ports of Seattle and Tacoma’s seaport activities generate several hundred million dollars in state and local revenues.
  • Cargo operations at the Port of Seattle create more than $3 billion in business revenue.  Firms that provide services at the port’s marine facilities spend $660.6 million in local purchases.
  • Businesses that provide maritime services to the Port of Tacoma’s marine terminals receive about $1.7 billion of revenue.

Washington ports also have a significant nationwide impact:

  • Port of Tacoma activities produce $205 million in federal tax revenues.
  • Two mainline railroads—the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe and the Union Pacific/Southern Pacific—are integral in the movement of grain from Midwestern states to the Port of Seattle seaport for export.

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