National Maritime Day highlights maritime industry

May 26, 2016


By Katie Schoenauer, World Trade Center San Diego

For eighty-three years May 22 has been proclaimed as National Maritime Day in order to honor the transatlantic trip the SS Savannah undertook – the first ever steamship to do this. It is also a day to recognize and celebrate the nation’s maritime industry.

On this 83rd annual National Maritime Day, I not only salute the men and women who comprise our Merchant Marine for their dedicated efforts to furthering trade and security; but remind all that we are a Nation dependent on ocean borne international trade and we must work diligently to assure our domestic ports and intermodal networks are sufficient to continue to bring benefits to American consumers and exporters." – Chairman Mario Cordero, Federal Maritime Commission

Extending National Maritime Day, the Port of San Diego declared the entire month of May as Maritime Month to celebrate an industry that plays a vital role in ensuring San Diego’s regional economic success. The following are just a few industry highlights:

  • Approximately 8,000 employees work in traditional, exclusively maritime industries.
  • Slightly less than 40,000 employees work in industries classified as maritime technology or with a maritime component.
  • The growing maritime industry is expected to add at least another 6,000 new jobs by 2020.
  • Total direct revenue from the maritime cluster totaled more than $14 billion.
  • Total Gross Regional Product (GRP) contributed by the shipbuilding and repair industry and through its ripple effects amounted to $1.75 billion.
The Port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 17 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub-tenant businesses around San Diego bay. In celebrating Maritime Month 2016, the Port offered free tours of San Diego’s impressive working waterfront, which was recently earmarked to support a record-setting 87 events in 2017.

Additionally, the Port of San Diego’s major planning projects are being recognized by the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s (SDAF) CONTEXT forum with “A Day on the Bay” on June 2.

The Port is place-making on a breathtakingly grand scale spanning more than 5,300 acres touching five cities, and looking far into the future. What the Bayfront will become in the decades ahead is of unique interest to our constituents, as well as a much broader audience” – Margit E. Whitlock, SDAF Board Member

Given that May is also World Trade Month, we have been reflecting on San Diego’s efforts to best position itself for global economic connectivity. The Go Global San Diego Initiative lays out strategies to convert broad objectives into actionable approaches. One such strategy is to maximize infrastructure assets, with a major tactic being to “increase exports through the Port of San Diego.” The Port’s continued effort to grow the maritime industry helps maximize the extent to which the region’s infrastructure assets are resources for both importers and exporters, keeping San Diego globally connected.