They don't call it "shipping" for nothing.
Worldwide, as much as 90 percent of the goods that move around the globe move by ship or by sea. In the United States alone, that amounts to more than four trillion tons worth of water-carried trade every year. Nationwide, maritime industries:
• move by vessel almost half (44 percent in the most recent statistics available) the value of all U.S. foreign trade, including trade with Canada and Mexico.
• add more than $100 billion to the United States economy every year.
• employ 74,000 workers on vessels and at shipyards.
• support half a million jobs in total.
• pay $29 billion in annual wages across the country.
• provide $11 billion in taxes per year.
Cargo handled at the Port of Seattle seaport generates more than 135,000 jobs in the state and created more than $2 billion in annual business revenue for the region.
In Portland, the 50 industrial marine businesses with direct access to the harbor support approximately 20,000 local, family-wage jobs, bringing almost $1 billion in personal income to the region's economy each year.
The Port of Everett creates nearly 31,100 direct and related jobs, including more than 12,000 aerospace workers, longshoremen, truckers, railroad operators, Port employees, and jobs related to recreational boating.
Port and marine activities in Tacoma support more than 43,000 jobs in Pierce County.
And maritime industries, and Vigor in Alaska, are at the heart of the work world in Ketchikan and southeastern Alaska.
Maritime matters not just to the people who build, repair, and crew the vessels, but also to those who ride aboard:
• Washington State Ferries alone carry more than 22 million commuters, residents and visitors per year, linking eight counties and the province of British Columbia.
• Alaska Marine Highway System, another Vigor passenger vessel customer, moves nearly 100,000 vehicles a year between 31 communities in Alaska as well as to and from Washington and British Columbia.
• Across the United States, more than 200 million passengers ride on more than 5,000 U.S. Coast Guard-certified vessels every year.
Transport by sea remains one of the most efficient ways to move cargo:
• Oregon maritime workers continue to "feed the world," with the Port of Portland remaining the largest wheat port in the United States for more than a century, connecting farmers from as far as Minnesota and Kansas with buyers in Asia and elsewhere.
• Port Angeles remains a leader in the export of forest products to Japan, China, Korea, India, and Taiwan, in addition to millions of board feet of logs to be transported to domestic US markets.
And maritime industries also support American security:
• Vigor is restoring icebreaker capabilities for the U.S. Coast Guard to patrol and secure changing conditions in the arctic and along the Northwest Passage to Europe.
• U.S. flag commercial vessels carried two-thirds of all military cargo during Operation Enduring Freedom & Iraqi Freedom.
Vigor is proud to play an increasing role in keeping people and goods moving over water. And we're proud to help the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other agencies carry out their missions at sea.