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What are the 5 busiest ports in the USA?

Sea ports play an important role in global trade, serving as gateways for goods moving between countries and connecting the United States to other economies. In the USA, several ports stand out for their bustling activity and significant contributions to the economy. From the East Coast to the West Coast, these ports facilitate the flow of goods, supporting both businesses and consumers. Here’s a closer look at the five busiest ports in the USA.

5 busiest ports in the USA:

1. Port of Los Angeles, California

Located in Southern California, the Port of Los Angeles consistently ranks as the busiest port in the United States. It’s not only the largest port in the country but also the busiest container port in North America. Here are some metrics of the Port of Los Angeles:

Container volume: The Port of Los Angeles can handle over 10 million TEUs annually

Leading trade partners: The Port of Los Angeles serves as a critical hub for trade with Asia, particularly China. Its strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities make it a preferred choice for shipping companies. Other trade partners include Japan and South Korea

Total size: 7,500 acres

Vessels handled: 1,867

Annual cargo tonnage: 222 million metric revenue tons

2. Port of New York and New Jersey

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest port on the East Coast of the United States. Its strategic location near major populations and extensive network of transportation connections make it an important link in the transatlantic trade route. Despite facing challenges such as congestion and limited space, the Port of New York and New Jersey continues to expand and modernize to meet growing demands.

Here are some metrics of the Port of New York and New Jersey:

Container volume: The Port of New York and New Jersey can handle over 7 million TEUs annually

Leading trade partners: China, India, Germany

Total containers: 4.2 million

Annual container value: $205 billion

3. Port of Long Beach, California

Next to the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach is the third busiest port in the USA. The Port of Long Beach handles around 8 million TEUs each year. Like its neighbor, the Port of Long Beach benefits from its proximity to Asia and its well-developed infrastructure. With ongoing investments in automation and sustainability initiatives, the port remains competitive on the global stage, accommodating large vessels and efficiently managing cargo flows. Here are some metrics of the Port of Long Beach:

Container volume (2022): 9.13 million TEUs

Annual cargo tonnage: 78.2 million metric revenue tons

Total size: 3200 acres

Cargo berths: 80

4. Port of Savannah, Georgia

In the southeastern United States, the Port of Savannah stands out as a key player in global trade. Handling more than 4 million TEUs per year, it ranks among the busiest ports on the East Coast. The port’s deepwater terminals accommodate large vessels, offering efficient access to markets in the Midwest and beyond. Here are some metrics of the Port of Savannah:

Container volume (2022): 5.76 million TEUs

Deepwater terminals: Garden City terminal (1200 acres), Ocean terminal (200 acres)

5. Port of Houston, Texas

Finally, located along the Gulf Coast, the Port of Houston rounds out the list of the busiest ports in the USA. Handling over 2 million TEUs annually, it serves as a gateway for trade with Central America and South America and the rest of the world. In addition to containerized cargo, the port handles significant volumes of breakbulk and project cargo, reflecting its diverse range of maritime activities. Here are some metrics of the Port of Houston:

Annual cargo tonnage: 247 million metric revenue tons

Barges: 215,000

Annual cargo volume: 1.6 million TEUs

The bottom line

Sea ports in the USA facilitate global trade and connect economies around the world. They are the logistical backbone of the USA’s supply chain as they act as the main conduits for the import and export of goods. As global trade continues to evolve, these ports will remain vital hubs of commerce, adapting to changing trends and technologies to ensure the efficient movement of goods in the years to come.

Reach out to our team if you have any questions regarding navigating freight forwarding and US customs clearance. No matter your port of origin, our dedicated customs and freight teams can help your business streamline your shipping and and clear your goods quickly.


Categories: Global Trade