Economic Impact

Cargo activity through Jacksonville’s seaport positively impacts tens of thousands of jobs and supports nearly $31.1 billion in annual economic output for the region and state, according to a newly released study.

Port of Jacksonville’s Total Annual Economic Impact

The study, citing double-digit growth in the port’s total economic impact over the last five years, was conducted by Martin Associates, a widely recognized maritime research firm. 

In the Jacksonville area, the study concludes that 26,282 people are employed in port-dependent positions—direct, indirect and induced jobs relying on the port. This figure represents a nearly 8 percent increase over a previous study conducted in 2013. The port’s total economic value of $31.1 billion has also increased 15 percent during this time. In addition, the study finds that 138,500 jobs across the state of Florida are related to cargo moving through Jacksonville’s port.

Port-dependent jobs pay an average annual salary of $70,570, well above the state of Florida average salary for all occupations of $46,010. 

JAXPORT’s Asian container trade is a primary driver of the port’s containerized cargo growth, up 89 percent since 2013. JAXPORT offers competitive transit times to destinations in Asia including China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and more. 

The port achieved significant Asian volume increases following the 2017 decision by the JAXPORT Board of Directors to begin construction on the project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 ft. The report finds that this steady volume growth underscores the importance of harbor deepening, which will allow JAXPORT to accommodate more cargo aboard the increasingly larger ships calling Jacksonville. The project is ahead of schedule and expected to be complete in 2023, based on continued funding from all partners.  

A previous study conducted by Martin Associates in 2014 projected that JAXPORT’s Asian container business would generate 5,675 direct, indirect and induced jobs by the year 2020. The new study finds the actual number of these jobs in 2018 has already reached 5,538, a difference of about 2 percent from the forecast for 2020. The report also finds that every 1,000 vehicles that move through the port supports 1.6 direct local jobs. JAXPORT is the nation’s second largest vehicle-handling port, moving more than 665,000 units last year. 

“The successes we are experiencing throughout all of our lines of business have a direct and lasting impact on our region and state,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “The more we continue to invest in this port and grow our reputation as a global gateway into the Southeast U.S., the more jobs we create for our neighbors and the more revenue we put back into our area’s economy.” 

The study concludes that in 2018, cargo activity at Jacksonville’s seaport generated $2.6 billion in business revenue, including $767.4 million in wages, $634.6 million in business purchases and $247.1 million in state and local taxes.

2018 Economic Impact Study

Full Report: The Economic Impact of the Port of Jacksonville – Aug. 2018

Presentation: The Economic Impact of the Port of Jacksonville – Aug. 2018

2014 Economic Impact Study
Full Report: The Economic Impact of the Port of Jacksonville – Aug. 2014

Executive Summary: The Economic Impact of the Port of Jacksonville – Aug. 2014

Presentation: The Economic Impact of the Port of Jacksonville – Aug. 2014

Infographic: The Economic Impact of the Port of Jacksonville – Aug. 2014

Cruise Industry’s Current Economic Impact in Jacksonville

The cruise industry in Jacksonville has created an estimated 460 new jobs and more than $67 million in new annual economic impact for Northeast Florida, according to a 2009 study completed by Martin Associates. These projections are based on the current cruise service commitment to JAXPORT. About 85 percent of this impact is being realized in Duval County, while Nassau, St. Johns and Clay counties also benefit, according to the study.

Passenger and Crew Spending
More than 60 percent of the economic impact from cruise ships comes from passengers, many of whom stay in Jacksonville before or after their cruise. They spend money as tourists at hotels, restaurants, rental car agencies, taxi and car shuttle services, gasoline stations, shopping centers, golf courses and similar attractions. Additionally, each ship has more than 900 crew members, many of whom spend money while in port making purchases at area stores, eating at local restaurants, renting cars, taking taxis, and using area services.

Research Methodology
This data was compiled as part of a study conducted by Martin Associates, a widely-recognized expert in the evaluation of economic impacts created by maritime activity. The project lead, Dr. John Martin, has managed hundreds of port planning, market and economic impact studies for ports around the world.