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Louisiana maritime industry strong

Last Modified: Friday, April 11, 2014 12:49 PM

A new study shows the “maritime industry in Louisiana ranks first among all states,” according to a news release from U.S. Sen. Davis Vitter, R-La. That’s especially good news for Southwest Louisiana and hopefully means a bright future for the Port of Lake Charles, one of our major local industries.

The “recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) highlighted the strength of the domestic maritime industry, citing Louisiana as the top domestic maritime state in the country for jobs and economic output,” reads the news release. “Vitter also credits the Jones Act, requiring the use of domestic vessels and mariners, for protecting the maritime industry.

“Louisiana’s maritime industry isn’t just important to our state’s economy — it plays an incredibly vital role in our national economy,” Vitter said in the release. “Our position in the maritime industry is a true point of strength for the Louisiana economy, creating tens of thousands of local jobs. The Jones Act obviously helps protect those jobs here in Louisiana and plays a critical role in our national security.”

“According to PwC,” the news release reads, “Louisiana provides more jobs in the maritime industry than any other state, contributing 54,850 jobs and an annual gross economic output of $11.36 billion. Additional highlights from the study include:

 “Income related to the domestic maritime industry in the state exceeds $3.45 billion annually.

 “Louisiana ranks first among all states in per capita American maritime jobs. One in every 83 jobs in Louisiana is connected to the domestic maritime industry, nearly twice that of any other state.

 “Louisiana is a major shipyard state with 29,250 associated jobs and more than $1.59 billion in labor income.

l “Louisiana is also home to the offshore marine transportation service industry in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the largest segments of the maritime industry. Approximately 25% of America’s domestic energy is produced offshore, and the oil and gas industry depends on over 1,200 specialized vessels to perform seismic research, drill test wells, lay pipe, transport and install production facilities, supply them with personnel, fuel, equipment, tools, drilling mud, food, and water, and to plug wells and decommission platforms at the end of their production cycle.

 “The Lower Mississippi River is home to the largest port complex in the world, connecting 31 states through a 14,500 mile system of inland waterways. In 2011, there were 4,523 vessel calls at Louisiana ports.

 “Louisiana’s navigable waterway network has more than 2,800 miles and moves more than 500 million tons of domestic and foreign cargo.

 “60 percent of export grain travels down the Mississippi River by barge to Louisiana’s ports and the Gulf of Mexico each year.

“Louisiana is home to the largest container port in the Western Hemisphere by tonnage and the second busiest port in the nation based on vessel arrivals.”

We should all appreciate our maritime industry and support all efforts to strengthen it.

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