WASHINGTON – The American maritime industry today praised President Barack Obama and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx for visiting the Port of Jacksonville, Florida to talk about jobs and economic growth. Thomas Allegretti, the Chairman of the American Maritime Partnership, noted that the Port of Jacksonville alone is homeport to four American-owned freight carriers.
“It is good to see the President recognizes that the American maritime industry continues to play an important role in the nation’s economic future and wants to make investments in infrastructure to support that industry,” Mr. Allegretti stated. “We look forward to working with the administration to ensure that the domestic maritime industry can continue to provide good, high paying jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans.”
The domestic American maritime industry in Florida supports more than 27,000 people and the Jacksonville port is an appropriate venue for the administration's message on economic growth, as it is one of many new technology hubs where the maritime industry is transforming waterborne commerce. One major project at the Port of Jacksonville is the development of the world's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered container ships. These ships will operate in the U.S. and be built, crewed, and owned by Americans while employing more than 250 people over the next 40 years. This innovation translates to 71 percent fewer emissions than traditional container ships and the creation of additional American jobs.
American Maritime Partnership is the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, a pillar of our nation‘s economic, national, and homeland security. More than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies, ply our waters 24/7, and this commerce sustains nearly 500,000 jobs, $29 billion in labor compensation, and more than $100 billion in annual economic output according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Transportation Institute.
So efficient are the vessels in the domestic trades that they carry a quarter of the nation‘s cargo for only 2 percent of the national freight bill, and being American owned, built and crewed helps make America more secure.