The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) handled 571,177 TEU in February, the highest amount of cargo recorded among US ports.
The port exceeded the Port of Los Angeles by more than 83,000 TEU and the Port of Long Beach by more than 27,000 TEU.
The container port’s status as the busiest in the US comes after the seaport was the second busiest in the month of January, when the port moved 645,430 TEU.
The port has been the busiest in the nation over the first two months of 2023 with a total throughput of 1,216,607 TEU so far.
READ: Port of New York and New Jersey throughput highlights East Coast power shift
The port has also been clearing out its empty container inventory with the removal of more than 390,000 TEU this year.
According to the Port Authority, this reduction of empty containers helps improve seaport operations and fluidity by allowing more container terminal space for imports to be processed quickly at the port in the future.
“After years of unprecedented cargo growth, we are using this traditionally slow period to work with our port stakeholders who need to increase capacity throughout the regional supply chain,” said Port Authority Chairman, Kevin O’Toole.
In 2022, the port handled a total of nearly 9.5 million TEUs, its highest annual amount of cargo in its history.
Part of the recent dominance among eastern ports in the US has been due to strikes and especially the backlog of vessels at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.
Containerships queuing up outside the major US West Coast ports was a regular sight throughout the pandemic, with a peak of 109 on 9 January 2022.
However, despite the fact that these issues have since come to pass, many importers have shifted their volume permanently to the US East Coast.
“We expect a stronger second half of the year, as we have been in discussions with many importers that shifted volume to us from elsewhere and are now committed to keeping that volume in our gateway,” O’Toole continued.