The Port of Boston contributed $8.2 billion in economic activity in 2018, up from $4.6 billion in 2012, according to a new report released by Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). The report shows that smart investments and partnerships to the Port have led to growth in jobs, business revenues, and tax contributions.
Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said the findings “underscore the important role transportation infrastructure plays in the vitality of an area. The Baker-Polito Administration has been and will continue to make strategic capital investments in transportation infrastructure in order to create jobs, strengthen the economic base, improve housing, and make connections which will help local communities and industries thrive.”
Businesses throughout the Commonwealth and New England rely on Boston’s Port to import and export their products. The Economic Impact Study shows jobs related to Port activities rose 32% to 66,000 between 2012 and 2018. These jobs represent the people who work in the cargo industry, seafood processing operations, the harbor sightseeing tours, and the cruise industry. The number of direct jobs has also increased nearly 30% during the same period, from about 7,000 to over 9,000. These employees worked in Massport owned and operated facilities, as well as private terminals and facilities throughout the Port.
Massport Port Director Lisa Wieland credited the success to “strong partnerships with Governor Charlie Baker, our State and Federal elected officials, the International Longshoremen’s Association, our customers, and the Army Corps of Engineers. These collaborations have allowed us to make smart infrastructure investments and operational improvements to meet the demands of an evolving industry and a growing economy.”
The study was conducted by Martin Associates, an internationally recognized leading economic and transportation consulting firm. The report was unveiled during a business breakfast event, co-sponsored by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM).
Port of Boston By the Numbers:
66,091 total jobs, including 9,014 direct jobs
$8.2 billion annually
Connecting MA to the global economy
1,600+ companies across New England use the port to ship and receive goods
Investing in our future
$850+ million in significant infrastructure improvements funded by Massport, the Commonwealth, and the federal government to keep the Port competitive
State Senator Nick Collins (D-1st Suffolk) hailed “the economic impacts throughout the Commonwealth” resulting from this success, adding, “ Investment in the Port is about job creation, economic development and protecting our maritime industries.”
Since 2012, several major projects have improved or renovated areas of the Port. In 2017, Massport took the trucks off the neighborhood streets by building the Thomas J. Butler Freight Corridor, a $75 million dedicated roadway for container trucks entering and leaving Conley Container Terminal. This project is one of several that focuses on creating efficient connections from Maritime facilities to the interstate highway system. Trucks are the lifeblood of the Port. By protecting existing truck routes and building new ones, like the Cypher to E Street project in South Boston Trucks, access to and from vital maritime assets will be preserved. Another major infrastructure project initiated in the last several years is the Boston Harbor Dredging Project.
The maintenance dredging of the inner harbor was completed in December 2017 and the deepening of the main ship channels will be completed by the end of 2021. The $350 million project is approximately 40 percent complete and will allow the Port to accommodate large container vessels, and remain competitive with larger ports along the East Coast.
Massport and the Commonwealth are also spending $210 million to create a new 50-foot deep berth and procure three new ship-to-shore cranes to better serve the larger container vessels that are calling the Port today and the even larger vessels that will call in the future. This modernization project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Massport is also planning for the expansion of Flynn Cruiseport Boston to add a second homeport facility and terminal upgrades to serve larger cruise ships carrying more passengers.
The Conley Container Terminal has seen record growth in container volume four years in a row. Last year, the terminal set a new record handling over 298,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), boosting the Port of Boston’s national profile and ranking #20 in the American Association of Port Authorities’ Top U.S. Ports. Flynn Cruiseport Boston continues to serve more passengers and cruise ships each year. During the 2018 cruise season, Flynn Cruiseport Boston welcomed a record 390,696 visitors to Boston. The Massport owned facilities on the Boston Fish Pier are 100% leased, and new seafood processing facilities at the Massport Marine Terminal are under construction.