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May16, 2016

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28 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE MAY 16.2016 TOP 25 NORTH AMERICAN PORTS SPECIAL REPORT Traditional U.S. West Coast shippers rerouted some of their cargo to other U.S. ports, as well as to ports in Mexico and Canada, utilizing cross-border rail or trucks and, at times, routing time-sensitive cargo via international air. Although the Pacifi c Maritime Association-International Long- shore and Warehouse Union debacle began to ease in late February 2015, freight diversions continued as U.S. West Coast ports worked to untangle the coastwide congestion and begin to win back unhappy shippers. U.S. ports handled 78.5 percent of the laden North American con- tainer trade, with Los Angeles-Long Beach, the continent's largest port complex, accounting for 30.3 percent of North American inbound cargo, 18.1 percent of outbound cargo and 25.6 percent of total trade. Q: HOW BIG IS the North American container trade? How do the countries and the biggest ports stack up? Overall North American trade totaled 40.6 million laden 20-foot- equivalent units in 2015, led by U.S. ports with 31.9 million TEUs. Canadian ports handled 4.9 million TEUs, representing 12 percent of the market, and Mexican ports held a 9.5 percent share of the volume with 3.9 million TEUs. Q: HOW BIG IS the North American outbound trade? U.S. ports handled the lion's share of North American outbound cargo in 2015. Of the total 15.6 million TEUs moving overseas, U.S. ports handled 12 million TEUs, or 77 percent. Outbound cargo through Canadian ports totaled more than 2.1 million TEUs, for a 13.3 percent share, and Mexican ports moved 1.5 million TEUs for a 9.7 percent share. Total 2015 North American outbound cargo declined 3 percent year-over-year. Despite a 1.3 percent gain by Canadian ports, Mexi- can port outbound volume declined 1.6 percent and U.S. port export traffi c tumbled 3.6 percent. Q: HOW DOES THAT compare with the North American inbound trade? Mexican ports led the growth in inbound container cargo with a 9.9 percent year-over-year increase, outperforming overall North Amer- ican inbound growth of 4.6 percent. Inbound cargo grew 6.2 percent through Canadian ports and 3.8 percent through U.S. ports. Overall North American inbound cargo in 2015 totaled 25 mil- lion laden TEUs, led by U.S. ports at 19.9 million TEUs, a 79.4 percent market share. Canadian ports handled 2.8 million TEUs of North American inbound cargo, good for an 11.2 percent share, while Mexi- can ports held a 9.4 percent share with 2.3 million TEUs. Q: HOW DOES INBOUND cargo compare with outbound volume in total North American trade? The overall trade is a 62-to-38 inbound-outbound cargo split. Inbound cargo drove North American trade in 2015, representing 61.7 percent of overall volume, 62.4 percent of U.S. port volume, 60.8 per- cent of Mexican port volume and 57.6 percent of Canadian port volume. JOC Contact Marsha Salisbury at and follow her on Twitter: @marshsalisbury. Ranking includes container ports in Canada, Mexico and the United States, omitting ports in U.S. territories and possessions. *Halifax laden volume calculated from available throughput volume and history. Compiled by Marsha Salisbury, JOC research editor,, 973-776-7828. Sources: Mexico — Ministry of Communications and Transporta- tion, (preliminary); Canada — Ports, websites U.S. — PIERS,, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS. FASTEST-GROWING CONTAINER PORTS IN NORTH AMERICA IN 2015 ■ Among the JOC Top 25 North America container ports, these ports posted the fastest year-over-year percentage rate of growth in laden TEU volume in 2015. NORTH AMERICAN OUTBOUND NORTH AMERICAN INBOUND NORTH AMERICAN TOTAL TRADE VERACRUZ VANCOUVER, B.C. HOUSTON HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA* NEW ORLEANS S. CAROLINA PORTS ALTAMIRA PALM BEACH BALTIMORE MIAMI 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% VERACRUZ LAZARO CARDENAS BALTIMORE HOUSTON S. CAROLINA PORTS MIAMI GEORGIA PORTS PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. NEW ORLEANS ALTAMIRA NY-NJ VERACRUZ HOUSTON GEORGIA PORTS S. CAROLINA PORTS BALTIMORE NEW ORLEANS MIAMI PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. ALTAMIRA 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Go to for bonus content, including the JOC Top 25 North American ports ranked by total containerized trade.

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