Maritime in Washington State
In 2015, Washington’s Maritime industry supported 69,500 jobs, $4.7 billion in wages, and $21.4 billion in business revenue.
The average age of maritime workers in Washington State is 54. Water-transportation workers face an impending mass retirement of almost a third of the workforce. Overall, the maritime industry projects a job shortage of 150,000 mariners by 2025.
As of 2016, Washington State Ferries is the largest ferry operator in the United States and the fourth-largest ferry system in the world!
The Northwest Seaport Alliance, composed of the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma, is the 4th largest container gateway in the US. In 2016 alone, they handled 3,615,752 TEUs! (TEU stands for twenty-foot equivalent unit and is a standard sized container on container ships).
According to the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County, "Seattle is the closest seaport in the United States to both Asia and Alaska. Its location makes the city a prime gateway for shipping, cruise passengers and tourists."
In 2017, Seattle welcomed 218 cruise ships and 1,071,594 passengers. The cruise industry brings in billions of tourism dollars to our region as well as supports local businesses and farmers.
According to SNAME, the International Community for Maritime & Ocean professionals:
74% of the world’s trade is carried by ship.
95% of the U.S. international trade is transported by ship.
55% of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coastline.
60% of the U.S. energy is imported by ship.
The average annual salary before benefits for maritime industry employees. [Source: WA Maritime Federation]