Massachusetts Port Authority officials, Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator John Kerry, Governor Deval Patrick, Lt. Governor Tim Murray, and Capt. Wei Jiafu, President and CEO of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) today commemorated the fifth anniversary of direct service between Asia and the Port of Boston. The ceremony at Nurses' Hall at the Massachusetts State House also included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Massport and COSCO to promote continued trade opportunities between New England and China through September 30, 2010.
"This event further cements ties between the Port of Boston and China," said Thomas J. Kinton, Jr., Massport's CEO & Executive Director. "New England companies have expanded and added jobs as a result of the increased demand of cargo traffic brought by COSCO and its Asian partners. With China fast becoming Massachusetts' largest trading partner, the opportunities for further growth are considerable."
Cargo activity at Massport's Conley Container Terminal has steadily increased with double-digit growth over the last five years. Since arriving in 2002, COSCO and its Asian partners "K" Line, from Japan, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, from Taiwan, and Hanjin Shipping, from Korea, witnessed growth in Boston of more than 400%. The service accounts for $20 million in annual revenue to the Port of Boston. COSCO is the world's eighth largest shipping company and has 43 percent of the business at Conley Container Terminal.
"Boston Harbor is back and the Port is bustling with commerce. This historic partnership with COSCO is bringing new vitality to our international trading relationship with China, and we expect continued growth in the years ahead," Senator Kennedy said. "I congratulate COSCO and Massport for their great successes over the past five years, and look forward to working with them for years to come."
"Relationships like the one between Massport and COSCO reflect the importance of free trade," said Senator Kerry. "This makes smart economic sense for our state. I support the continued partnership and I look forward to continuing to work together with both Massport and COSCO in the coming years."
"The China Ocean Shipping Company has served as an important ambassador of trade between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the fastest growing markets in the world," Governor Patrick said. "Over the last five years, COSCO has more than quadrupled its business with all of New England through the Port of Boston. We see the relationship growing only stronger."
"It is partnerships like this that help grow Boston's economy through increasing trade and creating jobs. Our partnership with COSCO has the Port of Boston thriving," Mayor Menino said. "Working together, we can make Boston a more vibrant, competitive city."
The port of Boston is an economic engine for New England with its vessel and cargo activity supporting 34,000 jobs, and contributing more than $2 billion to the local, regional, and national economies through direct, indirect, and induced impact.
The Port of Boston is the largest port serving the New England region. Top imports include: alcoholic beverages, frozen seafood, footwear and furniture, while top exports include: hides and skins, autos, logs and lumber, frozen seafood, paper and paper ware including waste paper, and metal ware.