Friday Fun Fact #9: The ports of New York and New Jersey account for over a third of North Atlantic trade

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Happy Friday, folks! Welcome to our 9th Friday Fun Fact, a series of curious shipping facts we’ve been bringing to you every week! As you recall, we’ve told you that shipping accounts for 90% of world trade and that it’s the greenest form of transport. Today, we take a look at the big guns influencing the US ocean freight industry! 

Largest US East Coast port

We’ll first have you know that the Port of New York and New Jersey is actually the birthplace of modern container shipping! The first container ship, the Ideal X, departed from this very port on April 26th, 1956 to Houston.

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Today, it’s the largest port on the US East Coast, and the country’s third largest. With the Atlantic Ocean situated to its southeast, it’s described as the “gateway to one of the most concentrated and affluent consumer markets in the world”. And quite rightly so.

In 2015, the port handled 4.5 million TEUs. That represents 11.1% of North America market share. As if that wasn’t enough, it represents a 5.5% increase from 2014, when it handled over $200 billion worth of cargo!

Largest US ports: 2nd

To learn about the top 2 ports in the US, we’ll take you to across the country to the golden state.

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The second-largest port is the Port of Long Beach in sunny California. It handled over 4.9 million TEUs in 2015 – a 12.1% market share. On a yearly basis, it handles $180 billion cargo and manages 2,000 vessel calls. According to the port’s website, nearly 20% of all containers in the US passes through Long Beach!

The port is, however witnessing a recent dip, especially in box volumes due to Hanjin Shipping’s collapse. Prior to its downfall, the South Korean liner represented over 12% of the port’s containerized volume. Furthermore, it holds a 54% stake in one of the port’s largest terminals.

Largest US port

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The neighboring Port of Los Angeles takes the crown as the largest port in the US. In 2015, it handled nearly 5.5 million TEUs, a 13.5% market share. More recently, the Port of LA has been setting new records for two months straight. In November, it processed 877,564 TEUs, a 23.6% increase from the year before. This figure also surpassed October’s all-time record of 814,574.

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Needless to say, these three ports will be the largest recipients of Santa’s goods this week! Hope you enjoyed our Friday Fun Fact. Have a merry festive holiday everyone!

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