An assessment of the Portland Harbor’s economic impact
While the first section of this report looks at the macro level of international trade, this second report is focused on the economic impact and local benefits of all Portland Harbor activities. These activities include private terminals, manufacturing areas and public terminals owned by the Port and leased to private entities. Together harbor-related firms earned $1.5 billion in income and of those earnings, spent $1.47 billion with local businesses.
The harbor area is where all major cargo vessels come into the Port of Portland, taking goods in and out of the region to other cities around the globe. This data does not include other regional ports such as the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Kalama.
This study also confirms that the Port and Portland Harbor entities have been nimble in staying ahead of global trends in transportation and adapting to the changing trade market, important factors in the region’s long-term trading success. Portland’s intermodal connectivity – serving as a hub for goods moving from sea, to rail, to river, to road – gives Portland-metro a competitive advantage, but new investments are needed to stay competitive.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Number of Portland regional jobs supported by economic activity in the Portland Harbor in 2011.1
Collective income of harbor-related businesses in 2011.
Income earned by Portland-area businesses and workers as a result of spending by harborrelated businesses in 2011.2
Amount harbor activities generated in taxes to support state
1 Includes direct, indirect and induced jobs, as defined in the study. As of 2010, the Port of Vancouver supported about 4,000 such jobs, for a harbor-wide total of 22,000.
2 Includes direct, indirect and induced income, as defined in the study.
For example, Port investments designed to expand auto-import facilities and attract a major potash trader have paid off with new investments and jobs in the region. Portland is now the second largest auto import gateway on the West Coast and the largest potash exporter in the U.S.
- More than 7,000 jobs – from longshoremen and barge operators to accountants and administrators – are directly tied to harbor activities.
- An additional 4,000 jobs are indirectly supported by harbor activities, such as vendors who supply goods or services to harbor businesses but are not directly engaged in trade.
- Another 7,000 jobs throughout the region are supported by the spending of employees of harbor businesses, also called induced jobs.
- About half of direct trade-related jobs are with the Port of Portland.
- Harbor-related jobs are generally higher paying than the average wage for the Portland-metro region, sometimes substantially so.
- Harbor-related business spending amounted to $367 million in direct economic activity such as payroll for employees and procurement of local goods and services in the Portland-metro area.
- Harbor-related businesses generated an additional $200 million in indirect economic activity in 2011.
- Spending by harbor employees spurred another $900 million in induced economic activity.
- Harbor-generated corporate, income and property tax payments to state and local government totaled $140 million in 2011. That is about half of the city of Portland’s 2013-2014 operating budget for Police and Fire Bureaus combined.
- While the Port of Portland receives approximately 4 percent of its total operating revenues from taxes—one of the lowest public-finance rates among all ports in the Pacific Northwest—its terminals support economic activities that generate about $6 in taxes for every dollar of tax revenue the Port receives.
DID YOU KNOW?
Portland is the fifth largest auto import gateway in the nation. About 20 percent of Toyota vehicles imported through
Portland stay in the Pacific Northwest. About 80 percent are loaded onto trains or trucks and delivered to 23 states in
the West and Midwest. Each auto imported introduces $271 dollars in the Portland economy. Last year 284,138 autos
were imported through Portland.
As the Port looks forward, it anticipates expanding facilities for auto exports. The first shipment of Fords manufactured in the U.S. and headed to South Korea left Portland in 2012; soon Fords will also be exported to China. More manufacturers are producing cars in the U.S. and with increased Asian demand, this may be a source for future growth.
1 The first study, Today More than Ever: Oregon and Portland/Vancouver Depend on International Trade and Investment, was completed in September 2013 by the Trade Partnership. The second, The Port of Portland’s Marine Operations, The Local Economic Benefits of Worldwide Trade, was completed in August 2013 by ECONorthwest. The third, Economic Linkages from Marine Industrial Businesses was completed in August 2013 by One Northwest Consulting.