In an exclusive insight PTI has looked at this question and followed on from its previous reflection on the five busiest ports in Northern Europe and compiled a list of the top five ports in the USA.
The busiest ports in North America are responsible for handling over 90 percent of the global trade in the continent. Only two ports out of the top 15 cargo ports in North America are found outside the US.
Port of Houston
The Port of Houston is the largest port on the Gulf Coast and the biggest port in the state of Texas.
The port is the first in the country for foreign waterborne tonnage, US export tonnage and ranks second in the US in total tonnage.
The port extends for 25-mile-long along the 52-mile-long Houston Ship Channel with nearly 200 private and public industrial terminals.
The Port of Houston handles over 247 million tons of cargo every year managing by more than 8,200 vessels and 215,000 barges.
The eight public terminals are owned, operated, managed or rented by the Port of Houston Authority, including the general cargo terminals at the Turning Basin, Care, Jacintoport, Woodhouse, and the container terminals Barbours Cut and Bayport.
Port of Los Angeles
The Port of Los Angeles is a leading international trade gateway and one of the busiest seaport in the US.
The Port, located in San Pedro Bay, 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, expands for 7,500 acres of land with 43 miles of waterfront.
The Port of Los Angeles has recently broken its cargo-handling record, having moved more containers during 2018 than any other time in its 111-year history.
According to statement, the Port of Los Angeles’ annual container volume last year totalled 9,458,749 TEU, a 1.2% increase on the company’s record-breaking 2017 throughput.
In addition to this, 2018 marks the third consecutive year in which the US’ biggest gateway for containerized trade broke its cargo record, Los Angeles achieving the highest annual volume of any Western Hemisphere port.
Port of Long Beach
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s busiest seaports and a leading gateway for trade between the US and Asia.
The port handles more than 7.5 million 20-foot container units (TEUs) for a value of USD $194 billion.
The port’s clean-air efforts have continued dramatic reductions in air pollution, including an 87% cut in diesel emissions.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has recently invited harbor freight bids on a planned rail project designed to increase operational efficiency at the Port.
The Commission is scheduled to award a construction contract by December on Pier G’s Double Track Access to J Project, aimed at providing higher on-dock rail efficiency. It also seeks to improve the efficiency of local roads by moving more freight to rail.
Port of New York and New Jersey
The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest port on the East Coast, and the third-largest in the nation.
In 2017, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled 3,845,424 cargo containers, valued at nearly $200 billion. These volumes allowed the port to maintain its position as the busiest on the East Coast with nearly 32 percent of the total market share.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has recently responded to a record surge in container volumes, revealing a “comprehensive” 30-year plan for the port’s future growth.
Building on a previous development programme, which included the opening of the Bayonne Bridge and other initiatives such as the deepening of port channels to 50 feet, the new master plan aims to solidify New York and New Jersey’s position as the second largest trade hub in the US.
Port of South Louisiana
The Port of South Louisiana stretches for about 54 miles along the Mississippi River between New Orleans, Louisiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
This port plays a critical role for grain shipments from the Midwest, handling some 60% of all raw grain exports.
The Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal extends 67 miles from New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, and the channel up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Baton Rouge runs at a 48-foot draft.
South Louisiana, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge ports are ranked fifth, fourth, and fifteenth respectively in total port trading to all ports around the globe.