Freight News, Sea

Ship Horns To ‘Sound Off’ May 18-22 to Commemorate National Maritime Day

[ May 15, 2020   //   ]

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas – and a large segment of its hemispheric membership this year will commemorate National Maritime Day during the work week of May 18-22. To mark the occasion, which annually recognizes the mariners, the maritime industry, ports and their workforces, vessels in harbors and at berth throughout the hemisphere are being encouraged to sound their horns or whistles four times at noon each day from May 18 to May 22 as they work to move COVID-19 response necessities and other goods around the globe.

This year’s National Maritime Day theme, Sound Off for National Maritime Day, focuses on the current COVID-19 global pandemic response and recovery effort. It’s a recognition of the dedication, sacrifice and professionalism of the port industry workforce in their collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus while ensuring a steady flow of vital goods and services.

In the U.S. alone, more than 652,000 maritime-industry professionals work every day to ensure that cargo and cruise and ferry travelers move efficiently through the nation’s ports. Through passenger and crew screenings, vessel quarantines and other measures, seaports are committed to ‘flattening the curve,’ both domestically and among their country’s critical trade partners around the world.

“As businesses around the world begin the process of re-opening and people cautiously venture outside their homes, please remember that port workers and their logistics partners are laboring around the clock to keep us all supplied with vital consumer goods, medical equipment, energy and raw materials,” said Chris Connor, AAPA president and CEO. “While taking all necessary precautions against spreading the virus themselves, our maritime workforce continues to deliver vital goods and services, ship exports, and connect farmers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers to the global marketplace.”

Seaports honor National Maritime Day in different ways … from commemorative wreath-laying ceremonies for merchant mariners, award celebrations, and trash and recycling bin painting parties, to marine terminal tours and displays. Other ports, like the Port of San Diego, Port of Redwood City and Port of New Orleans, commemorate all of May as “Maritime Month,” hosting a series of events that recognizes the industry’s role in job creation and economic prosperity, and its commitment to education, workforce training and environmental stewardship.

According to IHS Markit’s GTA Forecasting (previously known as IHS World Trade Service), combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere seaports in 2018 totaled nearly 4.2 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.7 trillion in value. Of that combined total, seaports in Central and South America handled 1.86 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.17 trillion, while North American seaports handled 2.34 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.53 trillion. 

Within North America, U.S. seaports handled 1.01 billion metric tons of international trade valued at US$1.95 trillion, while Canada’s seaports handled 380.53 million metric tons of goods valued at US$266.67 billion, and Mexico’s seaports handled 352.53 million metric tons of cargo valued at US$312.91 billion.

“When you hear ships and other vessels sounding their horns or whistles at noon each day from Monday, May 18th to National Maritime Day on May 22nd, please consider the role ports play in your life, your community and the economy,” Mr. Connor concluded. “Then, use the hashtags #NationalMaritimeDay, #SoundOff and #SeaportsDeliver to post your thoughts about ports on social media in observance of National Maritime Day.”