Posted April 1, 2020
(The Center Square) – Experts discussed why ports are essential to New Jersey's economy during the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey's Transportation Summit recently.
Edward Kelly, executive director of the Maritime Association of New York and New Jersey, said at the summit that New Jersey's shipping industry provides more than 400,000 jobs and imports various goods from foreign countries.
"We have come to realize how important New Jersey is," Kelly said at the summit according to NJBIZ. “We have globalized the world since 1956. The cellphones that cost more than $1,000 apiece, cost 38 cents apiece to ship from Asia.”
Robert Bouchard, director of the Office of Port Infrastructure Development in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration, was the summit's keynote speaker. He touted how effective New Jersey's ports are in creating jobs and shipping goods.
"You can move goods from the West Coast to the East Coast in days,” Bouchard said at the summit.
State Sen. Joe Cryan also explained the economic benefits of New Jersey's ports.
“The investments in the port come back in many different ways,” Cryan said at the summit. “My last trip to the port before yesterday was with Gov. Phil Murphy. He understands the global impact of the ports. Our investments create economic expansion.”
The goods supported by the ports add $65 billion to the economy, Sam Donelson, chief strategy officer of architectural and engineering firm AECON, said at the summit.
Recently, New Jersey has been getting even imported goods from ships because the Port Authority raised the Bayonne Bridge, William Waxman, executive vice president of CBRE Ports and integrated logistics practice leader, said at the summit. The Port Authority is also planning to spend another $37 billion to repair more bridges, like how it recently rebuilt the Goethals Bridge, Hilary McCarron, manager of policy and planning at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said at the summit.