As New Jersey tries to woo Amazon to build its second world headquarters here, the state's economy may already be benefiting from the online retailing behemoth.

A big increase in port traffic into New Jersey has increased warehouse and other jobs by 20 percent in the past two years.

John Nardi, president of The New York Shipping Association, says the port surge is what he calls "a sign of the times, the Amazon age."

The study shows port businesses and agencies employ almost 230,000 workers, with another 171,000 indirect jobs as a result of port traffic. It also reported a 24 percent increase in shipping containers, to a total of 6.8 million containers. Bulk cargo was up 11 percent at 47 million tons, and 663,000 vehicles during the past two years, an increase of 3.5 percent.

As cargo goes to the ports, to warehouses and then directly to consumers, "it is more tax money; it is more workers with full-time jobs," he says.

"We have seen the container growth to this level in the past. But I think what we are seeing is a much larger growth relative to the inland movement of cargo."

Nardi also says their new study shows that port improvements and the money spent on those improvements has gone a long way.

"It really shows that the investment in the port over the last 10 to 15 years, in raising the Bayonne Bridge, and deepening the channel, that the port is really the economic engine of the area."

He says most of the surge in shipping benefited New Jersey.

"It is much much larger for New Jersey. It seems like the warehouse and distribution market has really migrated to New Jersey, and the gains in New York were really minimal."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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