The US Congress created National Maritime Day in 1933 as a holiday to honor and celebrate the Merchant Marine but also commemorated the first steam-powered transoceanic voyage of the American steamship Savannah set sail from the port of Savannah, GA, in 1819. The Merchant Mariners step in during a crisis and help save the day but also work quietly behind the scenes to help ensure the show goes on, even when things are running smoothly, to ensure the U.S. 's imports and exports reach their destination. 

The celebration of National Maritime Day has expanded today to include the maritime industry and local waterborne commerce with the brave men and women who have committed their lives to serve aboard a Merchant Marine ship. Therefore, these courageous Americans deserve to be celebrated this May 22.


Promotes Our National Identity

The word ‘maritime’ is exciting since our country was founded by people who risked their lives during the treacherous sea voyages and have been defended since then during war and peace by Americans at sea.

Collaboration Between Civilians and Military

When peace reigns, the Merchant Marine uses various sea vessels such as ferries, towboats, tugboats, and charter boats to transport cargo and passengers between nations and within the US. The US provides humanitarian aid and supplies to support civilian research projects in far-off locales.

Honor to Little-Known Military Personnel

During the war, the Merchant Marine played a vital role in delivering personnel and material to the military, and the Department of Defence could commission the mariners as military officers.

Statistics on the Maritime Industry

Ocean and Coastal Transport Industry

The Ocean and Coastal Transportation Industry boasts of a market size of USD 45.7 billion in 2023 by revenue and is expected to increase by a margin of 10.2%

Inland Water Transportation Industry

The Inland Water Transportation industry is at $7.9 billion in market size by revenue in 2023 and is expected to increase by 0.2%.

Are you a small business operating in the Maritime Industry? 

It's time to get the recognition you deserve. For years most business awards have been focused on celebrating big corporations, but the Best of America Small Business Awards is the only business award for small businesses. Small businesses make up 99% of U.S. companies; this shows how big small companies are for our economy.  

BASA is the real deal, as it is prestigiously independent and was created with an unwavering love for small businesses. The award aims to showcase the best small businesses' notable efforts in growing and building economies, communities, and a better working world while encouraging more small businesses to get excited about new opportunities.

With over 100+ categories to choose from, the award is not influenced by big corporations and has no nepotism, vetting process, or big guys, always winning nature. BASA's independent council of judges only cares about one thing- your work!

The BASA statuette is a hand-made work of art uniquely created in Italy by the internationally acclaimed artist Ithaca. Learn more at