An Overview of Container Volume in 2020 vs. 2019 for Five Major Ports


2020 is not a good year for any of us. COVID-19 has affected all our lives negatively and it is changing how we live.

We already had an economic crisis in March 2020 and some professionals forecast worse. I wanted take a look at 2020 for container volume (TEUs) for five major ports in the U.S. and compare volume to 2019.

Georgia Ports

Georgia ports saw a decline in both imports and exports compared to 2019 in the first five months of 2020. We can assume that the monthly change complies with the coronavirus’s spread starting in China, followed by a case increase in March.

Port of Houston

This cart of the Port of Houston shows the same curve over the months. The decline in volume started in March.

Port of Los Angeles

Port of Long Beach

There is a decline compared to 2019 for both the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach starting from January and peaking in March. After March, numbers look promising for the second half of 2020. We can also see the trade imbalance by looking at empty containers’ export numbers.

Port of New York/New Jersey

Finally, the Port of New York/New Jersey saw the peak decline in May compared to 2019. We still have high container trade and hopefully with the decrease of coronavirus cases and states returning to normal, we will match and exceed 2019 volumes.