Port Authority economic catalyst for Alabama
A fiscal year 2011 economic impact study prepared by John C. Martin Associates, LLC, a leading maritime industry economic consulting firm, estimates $22.3 Billion in total economic value for the State of Alabama from the cargo and vessel activity the Port of Mobile, and of this value, $18.7 billion is directly tied to the Alabama State Port Authority’s public terminals. Martin’s study also calculated jobs and tax benefits to the state of Alabama. The federal government calculates between 55 and 65 million tons of cargo moves through the Port of Mobile annually.
In FY2011, there were 141,029 jobs in the State of Alabama related to the cargo and vessel activity at the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) and the private terminals at the Port of Mobile. Martin Associates estimates that 127,591 total direct, indirect, induced and related user jobs are directly linked to the ASPA’s operations. The Martin study also concluded that both the ASPA and private terminals at the Port of Mobile generated $573 million in direct, induced, indirect and related user taxes paid to state and local governments by individuals, as well as firms dependent upon the Port of Mobile cargo and ship repair activity. Of this $573 million in tax impact, nearly $507 million was directly tied to the ASPA’s public terminals.
Much of the port’s growth is attributed to business generated by nearly $700 million in capital investments at the Alabama State Port Authority public terminals and in the federal channel. “Our capital programs have transformed this seaport’s ability to handle Post-Panamax sized ships, diversify its cargo base, attract industrial investment statewide, and generate jobs,” said James K. Lyons, director and chief executive officer for the Alabama State Port Authority. “With continued investment in intermodal and transportation infrastructure, I can see these figures only getting bigger,” said Lyons.
The Martin study affirmed the link between investment and growth when looking at the similar economic impact calculations conducted in 2007 and the overall US economic performance since the global recession began in 2008. The study concluded significant job and overall economic growth at the Port of Mobile underscores “the importance of the Port of Mobile as an economic catalyst”, and that it “is critical that the ASPA supports the growth of cargo by continuing to invest in port infrastructure and support the development of port dependent importers and exporters.”