Ports of Indiana joins in celebrating second ports day April 4

On April 4, the Ports of Indiana will join the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) in celebrating the second annual “Western Hemisphere Ports Day.” This day recognizes the industry’s role in creating jobs and propelling economies in nations across the Americas.

“We are pleased to observe ports day and especially proud of the contributions our ports make to Indiana’s economy and the connections they provide to U.S. and international markets,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. “Our three ports have direct access to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico via the St. Lawrence Seaway and Ohio/Mississippi Rivers and are supported by multiple short-line and Class I rail connections as well as several interstates that crisscross our state. These transportation networks provide port companies and users with a sustainable competitive advantage.”

On ports day, port leaders from across the hemisphere gather in Washington, D.C. for the AAPA’s annual spring conference to discuss trade policy, increasing freight volumes and the planning necessary to meet the growing demand for goods.

In 2015, international trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports totaled 3.81 billion tons valued at $3.36 trillion, according to IHS Inc.-World Trade Service. Of that total, North American ports handled 1.94 billion tons of goods valued at $2.21 trillion. In the U.S. alone, ports’ contribution to the economy reached nearly $4.6 trillion in 2014.

“Ports of the Western Hemisphere are job creators that deliver prosperity around the globe,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s President and CEO. “However, we must take a moment to reflect on the needs of our industry and make plans today to address the infrastructure needs that make goods movement possible for tomorrow. It is critical that wise investments are made to our transportation infrastructure to ensure that our industry can continue to make a valuable contribution to the economy.”

From 2014 to 2016, Indiana’s three ports handled 34 million tons of cargo, the highest three-year total since the state’s first port opened in 1970. Major cargoes included coal, steel, grain, fertilizer and limestone. Maritime operations at the state’s three ports contribute over $7.8 billion in total economic activity per year to regional economies and support nearly 60,000 total jobs.

For more information about Ports Day, visit www.aapa-ports.org.

Maritime Editorial