Wisconsin port facilities generated more than $1.6 billion in economic output, nearly $462 million in personal income from wages and salaries and supported more than 9,500 jobs in 2008, according to a new economic impact report of the state’s largest eight ports compared by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Planning and Economic Development.
The study breaks down the total economic impact into four major business types:
- Private businesses: $501,100,960
- Commercial fishing: $31,915,370
- Ship and boat building: $1,069,731,900
- Ports administration: $22,337,070
“Wisconsin is very fortunate to have commercial waterways that border three sides of the state,” says Dean Haen, manager for the Port of Green Bay. “Not every state can say that or reap the benefits that waterborne transportation provides.”
Approximately 40 million tons of goods worth more than $8 billion pass through Wisconsin’s commercial ports each year. “The Port of Green Bay moves about 2 million tons of cargo like salt, cement, asphalt, coal and limestone annually,” Haen says. “These materials are used or developed into products that we all benefit from.”
The study also noted while Wisconsin ports mainly transport cargo, they also serve as hubs for many recreational activities and have become an important asset to the state’s tourism industry.
“The port of Green Bay maintains the navigation channel in the Fox River so ships can carry as much cargo as possible, but it’s also an asset to recreational boaters and fishermen as well,” Haen says. “The Port of Green Bay is a great example of how ports around the state are making not only an economic impact, but contributing to the state’s quality of life as well.”