For centuries, seaports have served as a vital economic lifeline by bringing goods and services to people around the world. Seaports continue to be a critical link for access to the global marketplace. They generate trillions of dollars of economic activity and support the employment of millions of people. Seaports import and export about 8 billion tons of cargo including food, clothing, medicine, fuel and building materials, as well as consumer electronics and toys throughout the Western Hemisphere each year.  Seaports: The Big Picture



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