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Total Cargo Volumes at Major U.S. Container Ports in 2021

In 2021, major U.S. container ports announced record container-handling volumes. These numbers are very promising during the still-ongoing Covid pandemic and labor shortages.

Below are the container-handling figures for each of the major U.S. ports.

Port of Los Angeles

The total number of containers handled by the Port of Los Angeles was 9,891,020 in 2021. Out of this number, 5,128,035 were loaded imports (an approximately 300,000 increase from 2020), 1,113,272 were loaded exports (an approximately 400,000 decrease from 2020) and 3,625,278 were empty exports (an approximately 800,000 increase from 2020.)

Port of Long Beach

The total number of containers handled by the Port of Long Beach was 9,384,368 in 2021. Out of this number, 4,581,846 were loaded imports (an approximately 500,000 increase from 2020), 1,437,916 were loaded exports (an approximately 40,000 decrease from 2020) and 3,210,317 were empty exports (an approximately 700,000 increase from 2020.)

Port of New York and New Jersey

The Port of New York and New Jersey hasn’t provided numbers for December 2021 yet. However, given the numbers from previous months, we anticipate that the port handle a total of approximately 8,500,000 containers in 2021. Loaded imports likely made up around 4,300,000 of this total (an approximately 800,000 increase from 2020), loaded exports likely made up around 1,350,000 (an approximately 135,000 increase from 2020), while empty exports were likely around 2,850,000 (an approximately 800,000 increase from 2020.)

Port of Savannah

The Georgia Port Authority also hasn’t provided numbers for December 2021 yet but given the totals from previous months, we anticipate that the Port of Savannah handled approximately 5,550,000 containers in 2021. Of that number, loaded imports likely made up 2,760,000 (an approximately 400,000 increase from 2020), loaded exports were likely 1,400,000 (the same as 2020), while empty exports were likely 1,350,000 (an approximately 500,000 increase from 2020.)

Port of Virginia

The Port of Virginia is another East Coast port with increased TEU numbers. The total number of containers handled by the port was 3,522,834 in 2021. Out of that number, 1,679,528 were loaded imports (an approximately 350,000 increase from 2020), 1,049,588 were loaded exports (an approximately 100,000 increase from 2020), while empty exports were 762,354 (an approximately 230,000 increase from 2020.)

Port of Houston

Finally, the Port of Houston handled 3,453,266 containers in 2021. Out of that number, 1,634,025 were loaded imports (an approximately 300,000 increase from 2020), 1,068,982 were loaded exports (an approximately 150,000 decrease from 2020), while empty exports were 624,208 (an approximately 400,000 increase from 2020.)

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