State’s maritime ranked top in the nation

Landrieu brainstorms at Fletcher
April 15, 2014
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April 15, 2014
Landrieu brainstorms at Fletcher
April 15, 2014
Problems with no credit score?
April 15, 2014

With its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and an abundance of shipyards with skilled workers, a recent study confirms Louisiana’s maritime industry ranks as number one in the nation.

More than 54,000 maritime jobs in vessel operations, marine terminals and shipyards generate a staggering $11.3 billion per year of gross output for Louisiana’s economy, according to the study.

With information released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Senator Mary Landrieu applauded the study, which highlighted the strength of industry in Louisiana.

Landrieu said maritime is one of the largest industries Louisiana has to offer, also mentioning oil and gas and agriculture.

“But we wouldn’t be standing here today to tout this economic prowess of the maritime industry in Louisiana if it weren’t for the Jones Act,” she said in a release.

The Jones Act, which protects the efficiency of the maritime industry and seamen’s rights on the water, also protects national defense.

Landrieu introduced the American Mariners Job Protection Act, which helps to strengthen the Jones Act by preventing maritime work going to foreign companies.

“The Jones Act is a job act. Pure and simple,” Landrieu said. “I will continue to do all that I can to ensure the Jones Act is properly enforced and Louisiana maritime jobs are protected.”

With that protection of maritime jobs, the study reveals one in every 83 jobs is related to the domestic maritime industry in Louisiana, which is almost twice the amount of any other state.

Louisiana waterways navigate more than 2,800 miles with more than 500 million tons of cargo, both domestic and foreign.

Tom Allegretti, President and CEO of the American Waterways Operators, said the Mississippi River connects Louisiana with a large majority of states and helps move cargo through a 14,500-mile system of inland waterways.

“Louisiana is critical to our nation’s domestic maritime industry because of its proximity to the lower Mississippi River,” Allegretti said.

The state is also considered a major shipyard entity with 29,250 jobs, which creates more than $1.5 billion in labor income.

“Louisiana is America’s lifeline to offshore energy,” Robert Clemons, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SEACOR Marine, said.

Clemons said more than 25 percent of America’s domestic energy is produced offshore, and more than 2,000 specials vessels related to oil and gas rely on waterways to transport personnel, commodities, fuel and equipment.

“Our industry is proud to play an important role in Louisiana’s thriving and robust domestic maritime industry,” he said.

The study also reveals the total income related to the domestic maritime industry exceeds $3.45 billion.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter said the maritime industry in Louisiana is important to the state, but also plays a major role in the nation’s economy.

“Our position in the maritime industry is a true point of strength for the Louisiana economy, creating tens of thousands of local jobs,” Vitter said.