FacebookTwitter    Archive | www.aapa-ports.org April 28, 2015

2015 Spring Conference Connects Port Leaders with Key Influencers

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Nearly 200 port and related industry leaders from throughout the Western Hemisphere gathered in Washington, DC, for last week’s AAPA Spring Conference to collaborate on critical seaport issues, honor champions of the industry, advocate for industry priorities, and hear from some of the most influential people in Washington. The three day program was segmented, featuring 1½ days of sessions geared to all member ports with the final day and a half focused on U.S. policy issues. Further, the association released an economic impact study by Martin Associates and the 2015 AAPA State of Freight Report that underscore the value of seaports.  

In other business, the AAPA Board of Directors unanimously elected Jim Quinn of Port Saint John (NB), as incoming AAPA Chairman of the Board for the 2015-16 activity year.  Jim will take the reins at the AAPA 2015 Annual Convention in Miami, November 2-4.

AAPA Chairman-Elect Jim Quinn
Photo/Port Saint John

The ports of Mexico, the Latin American Delegation and AAPA were thrilled to honor Lic. Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa, General Coordinator of Mexican Ports as Port Person of the Year. He gave a luncheon presentation showing how Mexico is strengthening its port system and how the ports of Mexico will continue to be a strong partner of the association. AAPA also honored U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) as a 2015 Port Person of the Year for his leadership in the enactment of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014

AAPA held a press conference to release its new State of Freight Report, which shows that U.S. seaports are threatened by congestion and crumbling transportation infrastructure. In fact, the U.S. port-related freight network requires at least $28.9 billion to handle projected 2025 freight volumes. In addition, press were able to ask questions about the Martin Associates economic impact study released earlier that day highlighting that U.S. coastal ports activity now accounts for more than a quarter of the U.S. economy, supports 23.1 million jobs, and generates some $320 billion annually in tax revenues.  

The U.S.–only portion of the program feature presentations by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) on his new Economy in Motion freight infrastructure funding bill (H.R. 1308), U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zunkunft, on cybersecurity risks at America’s seaports, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman on U.S. trade facilitation efforts, and U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on how ports and the EPA are successfully partnering to create a sustainable environment. On April 22, U.S. port directors were invited to join AAPA staff in meetings with senior officials from the Office of Management and Budget as well as several Senators, House leadership and key senior Congressional staff.

AAPA President Kurt Nagle speaking during a 2015 Spring Conference luncheon in the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel ballroom
Photo/Aaron Ellis, AAPA

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