By JONATHAN NG
Massport — which is now looking for a new executive director to run its complex airport and harbor operations — oversees facilities that contributed to creating more than 9,000 jobs and injected $1.8 billion in revenue last year, the agency claimed in a new economic report released Thursday.
Massport officials touted “smart investments and partnerships have led to growth in jobs, business revenues, and tax contributions” during a panel discussion Thursday.
A search committee named by Massport’s board of directors has been conducting a secretive search for a new executive director, without identifying publicly any of the candidates or their backgrounds, or whether it is leaning toward a politically connected hire versus a transportation professional..
In a 46-page report Massport commissioned from Pennsylvania-based consulting firm Martin Associates, researchers claim the Port of Boston contributed $8 billion to the regional economy in 2018 and that more than 9,000 direct jobs were created by cargo, cruise, fish processing and harbor tours.
Massport’s Ray Flynn Cruiseport served 390,000 passengers on 151 cruise ships last year, according to the report. Chris Allen, a vice president at Royal Caribbean, said as the cruise industry sees growth at 6 percent each year, the company will continue to invest in Boston.
According to the report, more than 1,600 companies across New England use the port to ship and receive goods.
Charlie Cunnion, a vice president at Foxboro-based International Forest Products, said Boston’s ports allow the paper company to seamlessly market its product abroad.
“I can take that paper that you put in your recycling bin at the end of your driveway and I can have it in Ecuador in just a couple of weeks,” said Cunnion. “We have great partnerships with the truckers who can make incredible turn times here. I have a plethora of steamship lines who I can book with and a port that will be here for the long term.”
“Assets like Massport do not happen by accident, they are choice, an investment, they are well led,” said John Regan, chief executive of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, one of the state’s largest lobbying groups.