Study Shows North Carolina Ports Contributes $15.4B and more than 87,000 Jobs Annually to State’s Economy

January 24, 2019

Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina’s ports in Wilmington and Morehead City contribute approximately $15.4 billion to the state’s economy every year, according to a 2018 Economic Impact Study conducted by the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University. This contribution is constituted by goods moving through the ports, with $12.9 billion attributed to the Port of Wilmington and $2.5 billion attributed to the Port of Morehead City.

“At North Carolina Ports, we pride ourselves on being an economic engine for the entire state. Our ports in Wilmington and Morehead City play a critical role in supporting industries across North Carolina including agriculture, manufacturing, retail and so much more,” said Paul J. Cozza, North Carolina Ports Executive Director.

“Our ports are important to the overall economic health of the state whether that’s through generating tens of thousands of jobs or hundreds of millions of dollars in annual state tax revenue.” noted North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon. “This study is a testament of NC Ports’ commitment to driving business to North Carolina and fructifying our economy.”

North Carolina Ports directly and indirectly supports 87,700 jobs across the state. According to the study, the majority of the employment contribution stems from activity at the Port of Wilmington, with more than 59,200 jobs. Additionally, 44,600 jobs were directly related to activity by NC Ports, while 42,900 jobs were supported through indirect and induced activities.

The updated economic impact study also shows NC Ports contributes $687 million in annual local and state tax revenue. The county property tax related to activity at the Port of Wilmington is over $192 million and over $32 million at the Port of Morehead City. Activity at both ports resulted in more than $343 million in business sales tax collections across North Carolina.

“The Board of Directors is proud of the excellent manner in which North Carolina Ports has performed to support this economic growth in our great state,” said North Carolina Ports Board of Directors Chairman Robert A. Wicker. “The Authority’s outstanding and hardworking employees are all dedicated to growing business and meeting NC Ports’ mission to enhance the economy of North Carolina.”

The objective of the study was to conduct an economic assessment of both the ports of Wilmington and Morehead City and estimate their contribution to the state’s economy. The study assessed figures from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

About North Carolina Ports

North Carolina’s ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, plus inland terminals in Charlotte and in Greensboro, link the state’s consumers, businesses and industry to world markets, and serve as magnets to attract new business and industry to the State of North Carolina.