Economy: Ports - Crucial Coastal Infrastructure
Our nation's ports, often located in the heart of sensitive coastal ecosystems, are an essential driver of the U.S. economy. Understanding and managing the interdependencies among safe maritime transportation, efficient port operations, and coastal stewardship are critical to our nation's prosperity and security.
- $1.16 trillion
Value of imports through U.S. ports in 2011.
Source: US Census, 2012
Percent of the 2.3 trillion pounds of U.S. imports that arrived via ports in 2011.
Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Navigation Data Center; Basemap provided by ESRI
About this Topic
Our nation's ports, often located in the heart of sensitive coastal ecosystems, are an essential driver of the U.S. economy. This topic presents information on waterborne commerce through the top 150 U.S. ports in 2010, broken down by foreign and domestic imports and exports for several categories of commodities including: waterway improvement materials, coal, lignite and coal coke, crude petroleum, petroleum products, chemical fertilizers, chemicals, lumber, logs, chips, and pulp, sand, gravel, clay, salt, slag, iron, ore, steel waste, scrap, non-ferrous ores and scrap, primary non-metal products, primary metal products, food and food products, manufactured goods, and unclassified goods and products. The data, provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Data Center, shows that the top port for total short tons imported and exported was the Port of South Louisiana at 236 million tons. The next two largest ports were Houston and New York with 221 and 139 million short tons respectively. In this topic, three Management Success stories are presented: one on Reopening Ports after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, one on on Safe Navigation Using Real-time Oceanographic Data, and one on Success in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.
Local and Regional Economic Impacts of The U.S. Deepwater Port System, 2007
Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center, Navigation Data Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers