Big gains since 2010

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay today announced the findings of a study which assessed cargo handled, revenues generated, and jobs sustained by private and public marine terminals in Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Southeastern Pennsylvania. “Last year, over 90 million tons of cargo moved through regional marine terminals,” said Maritime Exchange President Dennis Rochford. This includes a wide variety of goods, including containerized cargo, petroleum and petrochemical products, steel, break bulk fruit, cocoa beans, forest products, automobiles, and a host of other breakbulk and bulk products.

“The port is a huge economic engine for the tristate region,” Rochford said. “These 90.4 million tons of cargo supported a total of 190,436 jobs and $85.6 billion in business revenue and personal income. They also generated $2.6 billion in state and local taxes,” he said.

Petroleum accounted for 18.4% of all direct port jobs, with other liquid bulk products responsible for 12.3%, and containerized cargos at 18.2%. Pennsylvania residents hold nearly 43% of all direct port jobs. Over 31% of the direct jobs go to Delaware residents, and New Jerseyans account for 22% of direct port jobs.

Petroleum is also the largest single revenue generator, at $1.01 billion (27.5% share) last year. Container cargos were responsible for $422 million (11.5%), and other liquid bulk products generated $331 million (9%) in 2017. Breakbulk/project cargo, fruit, steel, automobiles, dry bulk, forest products, and scrap steel round out the top 10 revenue producers.

The Exchange last commissioned a similar study in 2010. Since then, the port has added 8,702 new direct, induced, and indirect jobs and another 46,790 related jobsi from growth in cargo activity.  Total economic output increased by $21 billion over the last seven years.

Rochford said the data support continued investment in maritime infrastructure. “These numbers demonstrate that all the maritime activity in recent years is paying dividends. From launching the Port of Paulsboro to deepening the channel to investing in cranes, berths, and warehousing, it is clear that Delaware River ports are increasing their share of an expanding global market,” Rochford said.

The study, conducted by Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pa., was funded in part through the federal Port Security Grant Program. Its findings will inform post-incident decisions made to return the port to full operations following an incident. Specifically, the data will help the Coast Guard and other incident responders prioritize vessel movements after an event. The data also provide current situational awareness for port planners and advice on current and potential future maritime transportation system impacts.

The Maritime Exchange is a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting and protecting commerce on the Delaware River Bay. It represents nearly 300 port businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.