2016 Port Report: Great Expectations

Tags: Ocean, Global Logistics, Transportation

These U.S. ports will work like the dickens to serve maritime shippers in the coming year, and beyond.

For the nation's ports, 2016 may be seen as the year of Great Expectations. With the $5.2-billion Panama Canal expansion scheduled to open in April 2016, ports on both coasts are making significant investments in order to be ready to handle post-Panamax ships. U.S. ports are expected to spend almost $30 million in dredging and infrastructure improvements in the coming months, according to a National Real Estate Investors' report. Many ports are also taking steps to reduce congestion, improve throughput, and strengthen relationships with rail partners and manufacturers.

With these efforts underway at ports in virtually all regions of the United States, shippers can expect greater efficiency and more choices. And, ports can expect to grow market share as they welcome mega-ships through the Panama Canal expansion during 2016.

Based on import and export trade volumes, efforts to improve infrastructure, and service innovations, here are Inbound Logistics' top U.S. ports for business in 2016.

Los Angeles and Long Beach

Despite 2015's congestion challenges, the Los Angeles-Long Beach gateway continues to grow at a steady pace, according to a Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) report. In 2014, the Los Angeles-Long Beach gateway and the New York-New Jersey gateways handled more than 47 percent of all U.S. imports and exports, according to the FMC. While increased volumes continue to challenge these ports, efforts are underway to reduce congestion, including extended terminal gate hours and a review of processes that would eliminate bottlenecks around container drayage or other landside connections.

Port of Los Angeles

MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 53'

Trade Data

2015 Total TEUs: 8,160,457

Year-over-Year CHANGE: -2.15%

Trade Partners

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

Imports

  • Furniture
  • Auto parts
  • Apparel
  • Electronic products
  • Footwear

Exports

  • Paper/wastepaper
  • Pet and animal feed
  • Scrap metal
  • Fabrics
  • Auto parts

Port of Long Beach

MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 76'

Trade Data

2015 Total TEUs: 7,192,066

Year-over-year CHANGE: 1%

Trade Partners

  • East Asia
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • Iraq
  • Australia
  • Ecuador
  • Indonesia

Imports

  • Crude oil
  • Electronics
  • Plastics
  • Furniture
  • Clothing

Exports

  • Petroleum coke
  • Petroleum bulk
  • Chemicals
  • Wastepaper
  • Foods

New York-New Jersey

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest port on the East Coast, and the third-largest in the United States. With a diverse set of trading partners, and due to its location, the port draws shipments from virtually all parts of the world. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is in the midst of implementing a $4.3-billion capital plan to invest and upgrade existing port infrastructure, according to CBRE's 2015 North America Ports & Logistics annual report. Alterations to the Bayonne Bridge are planned to be finished before the completion of the Panama Canal expansion. The port is also upgrading road and rail infrastructure. 

MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 50'

Trade Data

2014 Total TEUs: 5,772,303

Year-over-year change: 5.6%

Trade Partners

  • China
  • India
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Hong Kong
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Brazil
  • Vietnam

Imports

  • Beverages
  • Plastics
  • Preserved foods
  • Stone, plaster
  • Aluminum, iron, steel

Exports

  • Wood pulp
  • Vehicles
  • Plastics
  • Milling products
  • Food waste
  • Animal feed
  • Stone, plaster

Savannah

The Port of Savannah has emerged as a rapidly growing port on the East Coast. With the largest single terminal in North America, Savannah is close to Atlanta and major southeastern markets. The port has also differentiated itself by creating an operational environment that is free from local traffic and has ample land for industrial development. Several major international retailers have integrated the port into their supply chains. The port is also investing in its infrastructure. The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project will deepen the Savannah Harbor federal shipping channel from -42 to -47 feet. The state of Georgia is also building a 3.1-mile road connecting the port to I-95, intended to reduce congestion and provide better access from the port to the greater Southeast region.

MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 42'

Trade Data

2015 Total TEUs: 3.5 million

Year-over-year change: 11.7%

Trade Partners

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Japan

Imports

  • Retail, CPG
  • Machinery, appliances, and electronics
  • Furniture
  • Automotive
  • Hardware and housewares

Exports

  • Food
  • Wood pulp
  • Paper and paperboard
  • Retail, CPG
  • Clay
  • Automotive
  • Houston

    For the Port of Houston, the three biggest commodities include petroleum and coal products, computers and electronics products, and chemicals, according to the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. The growing debate over ending the crude export ban could lead to more tankers using the Port of Houston. In 2015, the Port Authority for Houston planned to commit more than $200 million for various capital projects, including improvements at the general cargo and bulk terminals in the Turning Basin area.

    MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 45'

    Trade Data

    2014 Total TEUs: 1,958,251

    Year-over-year change: 0.5%

    Trade Partners

    • Brazil
    • China
    • India
    • The Netherlands
    • Turkey
    • Germany

    Imports

    • Iron/steel products
    • Machinery
    • Beverages
    • Organic chemicals
    • Petroleum and petroleum products
    • Stone, plaster, and cement

    Exports

    • Plastic
    • Petroleum and petroleum products
    • Machinery
    • Organic chemicals
    • Miscellaneous chemical products

    Seattle-Tacoma

    The Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma have a proximity advantage to the Asian markets, which has boosted trade with China, Japan, and Korea. The ports also do a significant volume of trade with Alaska and the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. The Port of Seattle is planning to upgrade power and crane structure in order to accommodate post-Panamax ships at the only terminal that cannot currently handle the mega-ships. The Port of Tacoma is also renovating a primary pier by adding post-Panamax cranes and increasing the size of berths.

    MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 51'

    Trade Data

    2015 Total TEUs: 3,529,000

    Year-over-year CHANGE: 3%

    Trade Partners

    • China/Hong Kong
    • Japan
    • Republic of Korea
    • Taiwan
    • Vietnam
    • Southeast Asia
    • Canada
    • Thailand
    • Canada
    • Australia
    • Malaysia
    • Indonesia

    Imports

    • Industrial, electrical machinery
    • Vehicles/parts
    • Furniture
    • Toys, games, sports equipment
    • Aircraft, spacecraft, parts
    • Plastic and plastic articles
    • Iron/steel articles
    • Footwear

    Exports

    • Oil seeds
    • Industrial machinery, computers
    • Prepared vegetables, fruits, nuts
    • Meat, meat products
    • Fish, seafood
    • Cereal, eggs, dairy
    • Paper and paperboard
    • Inorganic chemicals

    Oakland

    Despite the challenges of 2015's PMA/ILWU dispute, the Port of Oakland is reportedly poised for future growth. The port's infrastructure, including channel depth and cranes, is already capable of handling the largest container vessels and 85 percent of all inbound cargo is destined for Northern California, one of the most affluent regions in the United States. The port and the city of Oakland are working on a joint redevelopment project. The Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center will include a new rail yard, a new bulk marine terminal, more than one million square feet of warehouse space, and new roads to the port.

    MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 50'

    Trade Data

    2015 TOTAL TEUs: 2,277,515

    Yr-over-YR CHANGE: -4.9%

    Trade Partners

    • China
    • Australia
    • Thailand
    • Hong Kong
    • Vietnam
    • Italy
    • India
    • Chile
    • South Korea

    Imports

    • Beverages
    • Furniture/bedding
    • Glass/glassware
    • Wood/wood articles, plastic
    • Paperboard
    • Electrical machinery
    • Iron/steel articles, rubber

    Exports

    • Wood pulp
    • Edible fruits and nuts, meat
    • Grains, seeds
    • Cereal, beverages

    Virginia (Norfolk)

    The Port of Virginia is growing rapidly, and has the strongest rail integration in North America, with approximately 33 percent of cargo arriving or leaving via rail, according to CBRE's 2015 North America Ports & Logistics report. Due to its geographic location, the port is able to serve nearly the entire East Coast in one day's travel. In addition to a new marine terminal and major road expansion, long-term infrastructure plans include construction of two new terminals that will dramatically increase TEU capacity in anticipation of post-Panamax ships.

    MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 50'

    Trade Data

    2015 TEUs: 1,454,748

    Year-over-year CHANGE: 5.9%

    Trade Partners

    • China
    • Germany
    • Brazil
    • India
    • United Kingdom
    • Indonesia
    • Japan
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Italy
    • Vietnam
    • The Netherlands
    • Spain
    • Belgium

    Imports

    • Furniture
    • Auto parts
    • Paper, paperboard
    • Plastic products, natural rubber, granite
    • Metalware, woodenware

    Charleston, S.C.

    The Port of Charleston's container traffic improved almost 41 percent from 2011 to 2014, according to a CBRE report. The development of an inland port in Greer, S.C., in a manufacturing and intermodal area, has allowed the Port of Charleston to handle greater volumes of TEUs, especially with the use of double-stack trains.

    The South Carolina Ports Authority is in the midst of a $2-billion capital improvement program including deepening the harbor, highway improvements, and a new intermodal container transfer facility. While the port has a legacy of being primarily positioned to handle trade with Europe, traffic to and from Asia is reportedly increasing as well.

    MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 47'

    Trade Data

    2014 Total TEUs: 1,791,977

    Year-over-year change: 11.9%

    Trade Partners

    • Germany
    • China
    • India
    • United Kingdom
    • France
    • Japan
    • The Netherlands
    • Belgium

    Imports

    • Furniture
    • Auto parts
    • Fabrics
    • Raw cotton
    • General cargo

    Exports

    • Paper and paperboards
    • Wood pulp
    • Auto parts
    • Lumber
    • Fabrics
    • Raw cotton

    South Florida—PortMiami and Port Everglades

    PortMiami is ranked one of the busiest ports in the United States for refrigerated container traffic. The port has invested in its infrastructure to reduce congestion, with on-dock rail capabilities being resumed and the addition of a tunnel that runs under Biscayne Bay, linking PortMiami directly to the interstate and reducing truck traffic. PortMiami has already completed numerous projects and is the only port south of Virginia that can currently accommodate post-Panamax vessels.

    Port Everglades has received more than $190 million in federal and state grants to dredge its channel to -48 feet, which will handle the larger cargo vessels that will pass through the Panama Canal. The Florida East Coast Railway operates a major intermodal container transfer facility near the port, which is used to transfer cargo from ships to rail. In addition, the port has long-range plans to add additional cargo berths, lengthen the Southport Turning notch, and continue to dredge the channel.

    PortMiami

    MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 52'

    Trade Data

    2014 Total TEUs: 957,000

    Year-over-year change: 8.5%

    Trade Partners

    • China
    • Honduras
    • Guatemala
    • Brazil
    • Netherlands
    • Dominican Republic

    Port Everglades

    MAIN CHANNEL DEPTH: 47'

    Trade Data

    2015 Total TEUs: 1,060,507

    Trade Partners

    • Honduras
    • Guatemala
    • Italy
    • Dominican Republic
    • Peoples Republic of China
    • El Salvador
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Brazil

    Imports

    • Fruits, vegetables
    • Apparel
    • Non-alcoholic beverages
    • Ceramics, mosaic tiles

    Exports

    • Grocery products
    • Paper, paperboard
    • Automobiles, auto parts
    • Apparel, yarn
    • Electronics, machinery





Visit Our Sponsors