Ocean freight rates must be compensatory. Having compensatory ocean freight rates has a domino effect on our industry. When shipowners make money, ports make money, allowing ports to make significant investments in necessary infrastructure, equipment, and technology.
US ports continue to have challenges attempting to balance their budgets and provide for their future needs. Larger vessels that continue to increase in size every year require deep harbors and well-equipped marine terminals. Our industry is critical to global commerce. Ports serve as significant job creators and economic engines for their cities and states. We must have ocean freight rates that will allow for a healthy industry and appropriate growth moving forward.
Our entire industry will continue watching US tariffs as they impact international trade. In fact, we are already seeing impacts to certain commodities. Tariffs that we impose as a nation will be met with retaliatory responses from other countries.
The value of cargo activities at our nation’s seaports is a significant driver of our economy. We must continue to do what we can to expand our exports. Restrictions on goods coming into our country will have repercussions that will not promote international trade. Restrictions can also do more than just reduce cargo tonnage. It can negatively impact job creation and economic growth.