Study: Domestic Maritime Industry a Boon For Indiana

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The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is one of three ports in Indiana. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is one of three ports in Indiana.

A new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers says the domestic maritime industry is having a major effect on Indiana's economy. The report says the industry employs more than 15,000 people statewide and generates nearly $4 billion to the economy.

The study was conducted on behalf of the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Transportation Institute. It says Indiana ranks among the top 15 states for maritime industry jobs, which is largely due to the Jones Act.

"The state of Indiana is a leader in the domestic maritime industry, supporting 15,360 family-wage jobs and contributing over $3.9 billion to the local economy," James Henry, president of Transportation Institute, said in a news release. "The findings in our most recent study demonstrate the strength and necessity of the Jones Act, which serves as the backbone of the American maritime industry, the U.S. industrial base, and job creation for the hardworking men and women who crew the vessels delivering both in times of war and peace."

The American Maritime Partnership, also based in Washington D.C., says the Jones Act requires the transportation of merchandise between all U.S. points be reserved for vessels built, owned, crewed and documented in the U.S. The study says 20 percent of Jones Act-related jobs in the country are located throughout the Great Lakes Region, including Indiana.

The study says, from 2011 to 2016, maritime employment has increased by nearly 8,000 jobs. Maritime jobs in Indiana generate nearly $875 million in worker income.

Indiana has three ports, two along the Ohio River in Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon, and one on Lake Michigan at Burns Harbor. Studies are continuing for the possibility of a fourth port near Lawrenceburg.

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