Port city of the United States are an important part of our nation’s economy and intermodal transportation network. Over 95 percent of cargo entering the United States arrives via ship. More than 360 commercial ports throughout the country assist in transferring these goods to their destinations. Understanding the role and importance of ports will help residents engage more effectively with decisions that have an impact on the communities near ports.
Ports are the primary focus of the Ports Primer. However, there are many other considerations that can be applied to large intermodal cargo facilities that are not located near waterways. These facilities are sometimes called inland port city. The Ports Primer does not focus on the goods transport aspect of port-related tasks, but many issues (e.g., idle ships) can be applied to the travel/passenger side of port functions.
American ports act as gateways for international and domestic trade. The American Association of Port Authorities says that U.S. Seaports handle nearly 99 percent of the country’s foreign cargo in volume and about 65 percent in value.4 AAPA stands for the American Association of Port Authorities. These numbers are significant given that nearly 30% of U.S. trade is international. Gross Domestic Product or GDP? To meet growing consumer demand, more ships arrive at U.S. shoreports.
Ports are an important source of employment in many local communities. Ports are both employers and provide support for employment in related fields such as trucking or rail transportation. According to the American Association of Port Authorities, deepwater port authorities in the U.S. supported 541,946 job opportunities in 2014. They paid an average salary of $54,273 for their workers. In addition to the above, port activity generated over 23,000,000 jobs in other sectors and through their overall economic effect on the surrounding communities.6
Major Shipping Commodities
These are the most commonly shipped commodities through U.S. ports
- Crude petroleum and petroleum products (such as gasoline and aviation fuel)
- Chemicals and other related products, including organic fertilizers
- Food and farm produce wheat, wheat flour, and corn, soybeans. rice, cotton, and coffee.
- Forest products: lumber, chips, and wood
- Iron and steel
- Soil, sand, gravel, rock, stone
Additional commodities have been shipped through the most important ports USA.
- Automobiles and automobile parts.
- Clothing, shoes & electronics.
Ports can deal with many commodity combinations. Some ports specialize in one type of commodity. Others are more diversifiable.
Port city are vital transportation hubs that enable goods to be moved between local communities as well as worldwide markets. As shown in figure right, ports can be connected to consumers by our highway system (railroads, air transportation, and domestic Marine Highways) (water transportation routes). These ports include both intercoastal and small inland ports, which allow for the movement and storage of goods between seaports. Intermodal Transportation describes the movement and coordination of cargo across different transport modes.
Ports may be looking at ways to improve their internal capacity and increase efficiency, as well as investing in infrastructure to handle larger ships. Ports could also cooperate with communities and metropolitan planning bodies, state or federal Departments of Transportation, other agencies and agencies to increase transportation capacity. This helps to avoid bottlenecks from other modes of transport.
Port city serve a number of important functions, including being transportation hubs and economic drivers. U.S. Department of Defense(DOD) has given Strategic Seaport status to fifteen of the country’s commercial seaports (see the map right). These ports can assist in military deployments.
Due to their large holding areas, connections to rail infrastructure, as well as the ability to load non-containerized cargo. These capabilities are also available to ports to support emergency response activities, such as a Federal Emergency Management Agency for natural hazards.
During military surging operations, the DOD relies heavily on Strategic Seaports. These ports were used, for example, by the DOD to transport combat vehicles and aircraft during Operation Iraqi Freedom. These operations demand that Strategic Seaports be equipped with the necessary rail infrastructure, have significant areas for military cargo, and are staffed with workers capable of handling noncontainerized weapons. As commercial container shipping continues to increase, our ports may have to be constrained in order to provide rail capacity for military operations.
It is vital to secure ports. The port is subject to a lot of cargo traffic. Security measures must be taken to protect and monitor the ports while allowing goods to flow efficiently. Many actors are responsible for port security oversight and responsibility. It can be difficult. In October 2005, the President approved the National Strategy for Maritime Security. This strategy provides plans to address preparedness for protection, response, and recovery from both natural and man-made disasters that could cause security co