Port Tampa Bay has announced its endorsement of study results that show dramatic increases in the economic impact numbers that can be directly tied to the activity of the nation’s coastal seaport system.

The 2014 National Economic Impact of the U.S. Coastal Port System, an updated port economic impact study, was released yesterday at the annual Spring Conference of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) in Washington, D.C. The report cites $4.6 trillion in economic value that U.S. coastal ports provide in terms of business revenues, personal income and other economic output by importers and exporters—a 43 percent increase over a 2007 assessment. That $4.6 trillion figure represented 26 percent of the nation’s $17.4 trillion economy in 2014, up from 20 percent of 2007’s $16.1 trillion economy.

Other key gains cited by the new report include: $321.1 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues generated by port-sector and importer/exporters revenues (51 percent increase over 2007); 23.1 million jobs generated by port-related activity (74 percent increase over 2007); and personal wages and local consumption related to the port sector doubled from 2007, and in addition the average annual salary of those directly employed by port-related businesses equated to $53,723.00.

According to Tampa, economic impact studies are important drivers in the decision making processes regarding strategic and master plans for ports nationwide, as well as funding acquisition processes and business development direction for ports, shippers and global carriers. Individual ports and port authorities utilize critical data and figures to state their own business cases as they build infrastructure and facilities that contribute to the economies of their localities, regions and states.

“Here at Port Tampa Bay, we represent $15.1 billion in economic impact and over 80,000 direct, indirect and related jobs, positioning the port as the region’s largest economic engine,” Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay president and CEO, said.