Last updated: 10/24/2023

US Ports Cargo Volume A Key Indicator of The Economy

Understanding the economic pulse of the United States often requires a nuanced analysis of key maritime gateways. 

These crucial entry points, including the ports of Long Beach, Houston, Oakland, and the dynamic duo of New York and New Jersey, serve as vital indicators of the nation's trade dynamics. 

Seaport Volumes To Monitor

As supply chain managers strive to unravel demand trends and ascertain the nation's economic health, scrutinizing port volumes becomes an invaluable compass.

In 2022, the Department of Transportation reported that maritime gateways played a pivotal role in handling a staggering 40% of international freight value. 

This statistic underscores the undeniable significance of monitoring seaport volumes as they mirror the heartbeat of trade trends, both across the years and within the span of months.

The Pandemic

The unparalleled disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic serve as an illuminating example.

Between 2018 and 2020, the top 12 U.S. seaports juggled approximately 46 million twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo, known as TEUs. 

However, the subsequent years, 2021 and 2022, witnessed a remarkable surge in volumes, propelling the numbers to over 53 million TEUs. 

This surge ushered in an era of infamous congestion and debilitating logistics delays, putting the intricacies of global trade into the spotlight.

2023 Back To Normal?

Fast forward to the year 2023, where a semblance of normalcy has returned to the port volumes. Yet, the question that now looms large is: how will containerized trade measure up concerning the benchmark set in 2019?

Cargo Volumes Snapshot:

Port of Long Beach:

- Year-to-date container volumes: 4,993,237 TEUs. This figure represents a 24% decrease compared to the previous year.

- Loaded imports handled at the port: 325,436 TEUs, marking a 15% decline from the previous year.

- Loaded exports handled at the port: 93,402 TEUs, showing a notable 23% reduction compared to the previous year.

- Empties handled at the port: 263,475 TEUs, registering a 12% decrease from the previous year.

These numbers underscore the prevailing dynamics at the Port of Long Beach, revealing a significant contraction in containerized trade, particularly in loaded imports and exports.

Main US ports serves as a vital node in the intricate web of global trade. 

Their performance not only mirrors the economic conditions in their respective regions but also acts as a bellwether for the nation's overall trade health. 

These figures lay bare the ever-shifting sands of international commerce, influenced by factors ranging from economic conditions to geopolitical events, providing invaluable insights for supply chain stakeholders, economists, and policymakers alike.

Reach out to us today to see how we can help you with streamlining your shipments, and save costs HERE.






Sign up for our newsletter

Stay up to date with progress, announcements and exclusive discounts. Sign up with your name and email.