Consistently one of the top 10 auto ports in North America, the Port of Davisville has experienced 547% growth over the past 20 years. More than 227,000 autos arrived by ship, signifying a 27% increase.
The announcement was recognised by Rhode Island’s elected leaders, including: US Senator Jack Reed, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, US Representative Jim Langevin, US. Representative David Cicilline, Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and others also attended.
Governor Raimondo included a $70 million bond proposal in her state budget last week to modernise and reconstruct Pier 2 at the Port of Davisville. Built in 1956, the pier had a design life of 50 years. The investment would solidify Davisville’s position as the premiere marine commercial gateway to New England and add an additional 50 years to the pier’s useful life. It would also preserve hundreds of jobs in the maritime sector and keep Rhode Island competitive with other ports in the region.
“For a vision of what is possible in Rhode Island, we don’t need to look any further than the Quonset Business Park. Here in North Kingstown nearly 11,000 people work at over 200 companies, including one of the Top 10 auto importers in all of North America.” said Gov. Raimondo. “The Port of Davisville is one of our state’s most important assets and today’s announcement is another example of how Rhode Island can be a leader on the global stage.”
“We need to continue this momentum and pursue initiatives that will ensure the Port continues to expand, creating even more economic growth and jobs in the future,” the Governor added.
There were 227,021 automobiles imported at the Port last year, surpassing last year’s record by 48,806 vehicles. An additional 42,150 vehicles arrived by rail and truck for a total of 269,171 autos arriving at the Port in 2015. The import figure reflects a 27% increase over the 2014 record of 178,215. The amount of cars imported is now more than six times the volume seen at the Port just two decades ago. The Port also had a record number of vessels arriving in 2015, with 193 ships calling at Davisville. In 2015, vessels arriving at Davisville accounted for nearly half of the vessels arriving at ports and terminals in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay.
Vehicles arriving at the Port of Davisville are processed, finished and distributed across the US by North Atlantic Distribution (NORAD), a long-time Quonset tenant. NORAD has invested more than $40 million dollars at the Park since their arrival in 1986, employs almost 400 full and part-time workers, and now has approximately 230,000 square feet of building space at Quonset.
“For more than 30 years we have called the Port of Davisville our home,” said Michael Miranda, President and CEO of NORAD. “State and federal leaders have done an incredible job in positioning this Port for more growth. We recognise their commitment to this unique asset, and we will continue to invest here and bring more jobs to Rhode Island for many years to come.”
The Port of Davisville has been one of the top 10 auto-importers in North America for the past several years. Recognised last year by the American Journal of Transportation as ‘the Biggest Small Port in the US,’ the Port is a key component of the Quonset Business Park. Quonset is now home to almost 200 companies, employing nearly 11,000 people in full-time and part-time jobs across many industries.
“Success at Davisville didn’t happen overnight. We are breaking new records today because of investments we started making decades ago. I remember when very few people from the state were paying adequate attention to the Port, but when the last of the Navy left, I went to work to help modernise the infrastructure with millions of federal dollars and support businesses like NORAD as they fought to grow and succeed. It is great to see the Port and Quonset become an important center of economic growth. Now we have to continue making smart, strategic infrastructure investments in the future. I will keep working to deliver federal resources and support sustained job growth here at Quonset and throughout the state,” said Senitor Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
“We are thrilled to have reached another great milestone with our partner NORAD, but there is still much more growth to come for the Port and its businesses,” said Steven J. King, PE, the managing director of the QDC. “We have an enormous amount of momentum and we look forward to using this great asset to bring more economic growth to Rhode Island.”