Economic Value of Shipping in Cleveland tops $4.7 billion, Up $1 billion from 2015

Development Financing Supports $4.8 billion in Personal Income since 2010

Cleveland, OH (November 3, 2022) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority (Port Authority), also known as the Port of Cleveland, has completed an update to a key report on the economic value of cargo shipping through Cleveland Harbor including the Port Authority docks and private industry on the Cuyahoga River. The report also assesses the economic impacts of development financing services offered by the Port Authority.

The economic analysis of maritime cargo used data from 2021, which was compared to the Port’s last economic impact report released in 2016 using 2015 data. The methodology and data from the two reports are highly comparable.* Both reports were prepared by Martin Associates, the nation’s leading provider of seaport economic impact assessments.

The report finds that the total value of economic activity in the region that depends on or is related to maritime shipping increased by more than $1 billion compared to 2015, reaching $4.7 billion in 2021. The total number of jobs attributable to shipping topped 22,000 in 2021, a 10% increase from 2015. Total personal income in 2021 increased $368 million to $1.8 billion, up 25% from 2015. Business revenue earned by firms providing cargo and vessel handling services totaled $691 million in 2021, up from $514 million in 2015, a 34% jump. Taxes paid to state and local governments attributable to cargo shipping topped $240 million in 2021.

Stefan Holmes, Chair of the Port Authority board of directors, said, “we are very pleased to see these numbers up sharply from 2015, even in the face of the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. The Port’s mission is to grow jobs and commerce and foster economic vitality. This report card shows progress on all fronts”.

The report also calculated the construction employment person-hours, personal earnings, and taxes based on the total construction cost of projects that received Port Authority financing via the issuance of project revenue bonds and other types of Port-issued bonds. Since 2010, the total construction cost of projects financed utilizing Port bonds totals $6.2 billion**. This construction spending generated 161,283 person-hours of work in the construction industry, $4.8 billion in personal earnings, and $614 million in taxes paid to state and local governments from 2010 to 2021.

Will Friedman, President and CEO of the Port Authority, commented, “This report shows, once again, that commerce through Cleveland Harbor remains a pillar of the regional economy and is growing. Shipping and construction jobs that are catalyzed by Port bonds pay good wages and support families throughout our County and region. We’re proud to support these sectors and we are committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Port-related economy in every way we can.

*The methodology used to calculate taxes paid was changed from 2015, therefore these figures are not strictly comparable between 2015 and 2021.

**The total cost of construction on projects financed by the Port is used to calculate economic impacts. This total exceeds the amount of funds raised by Port bonds due to other sources of debt and equity for most transactions. In most cases, Port bonds are the largest source of capital for the project.