2020 Event Recognizes Value of Western Hemisphere Ports to COVID-19 Response
INDIANAPOLIS (March 31, 2020) – Ports of Indiana will join the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) in celebrating the fifth annual “Western Hemisphere Ports Day” again this year on April 5. Typically slated to commemorate the maritime industry’s role in job creation and economic prosperity, this year’s event will focus on the role of ports in the current COVID-19 global pandemic response and recovery.
The 2020 Ports Day theme, On The Front Lines, recognizes the dedication, sacrifice and professionalism of the port industry workforce in their collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus while ensuring a steady flow of vital goods and services.
“We are pleased to observe Ports Day for the fifth consecutive year as part of our ongoing commitment to remind our communities and its leaders about the important role we play to Indiana’s economy and the connections across the U.S. and international markets to provide goods that impact our everyday lives,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Vanta E. Coda II. “Especially during the global pandemic, we are incredibly grateful to our staff and companies, including supply chain managers who are working tirelessly to keep cargo moving to ensure that the goods we need are available when and where we need them.”
In the U.S. alone, more than 652,000 maritime-industry professionals work every day to ensure that cargo and cruise and ferry travelers move efficiently through the nation’s ports. By passenger and crew screenings, vessel quarantines and other measures, seaports are committed to ‘flattening the curve,’ both domestically and among our critical trading partners around the world.
“While taking all necessary precautions against spreading the virus themselves, our maritime workforce continues to deliver vital goods and services, ship exports, and connect farmers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers to the global marketplace,” said Chris Connor, AAPA president and CEO. “As families, businesses and communities begin to recover from the crisis we’re all facing, our member ports are ready to deliver the products you need and want, keep your shopping cart filled, and take whatever actions are needed to support a strong, stable economy.”
The importance of ports in our region is well documented. According to IHS Markit’s GTA Forecasting (previously known as HIS World Trade Service), combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere seaports in 2018 totaled nearly 4.2 billion metric tons in volume and $3.7 trillion in value. Of that combined, seaports in Central and South America handled 1.86 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.17 trillion, while North American seaports handled 2.34 billion metric tons of goods, valued at $2.53 trillion.
From 2017 to 2019, Indiana’s three ports handled 39 million tons of cargo—the highest three-year total since the state’s first port opened in 1970. Major cargoes included coal, steel, grain, fertilizer and limestone. Maritime operations at the state’s three ports contribute over $7.8 billion in total economic activity per year to regional economies and support nearly 60,000 total jobs.
For more information about Ports Day, visit www.aapa-ports.org.