Table 1-20 Top 10 U.S. Container Ports (thousands of TEUs) and Channel Depth (in feet)

Table 1-20
Top 10 U.S. Container Ports (thousands of TEUs) and Channel Depth (in feet)

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Port 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Authorized channel Maintained channel
Los Angeles, CA 1,639 1,627 1,786 1,849 1,873 2,085 2,293 2,552 3,228 3,425 70 60
Long Beach, CA 1,356 1,543 1,939 2,137 2,357 2,673 2,852 3,048 3,204 3,199 76 63
New York, NY 1,294 1,306 1,404 1,537 1,533 1,738 1,884 2,027 2,200 2,332 45 40
Charleston, SC 564 579 655 758 801 955 1,035 1,170 1,246 1,156 45 40
Oakland, CA 746 772 879 919 803 843 902 915 989 960 50 42
Seattle, WA 743 781 967 993 939 953 976 962 960 824 34 52
Norfolk,VA 519 519 570 647 681 770 793 829 850 885 55 50
Houston, TX 368 392 419 489 538 609 657 714 733 778 45 40
Savannah, GA 387 406 418 445 456 529 558 624 720 813 48 42
Miami, FL 418 469 497 497 505 624 602 618 684 717 42 42
Total top 10 ports 8,035 8,394 9,534 10,271 10,486 11,779 12,552 13,458 14,814 15,088    
Percent of all ports 76% 69% 72% 77% 71% 79% 81% 81% 83% 83%    
Total all ports 10,583 12,238 13,173 13,328 14,794 14,882 15,556 16,564 17,938 18,081    

KEY: TEU = twenty-foot equivalent unit.

SOURCE: Journal of Commerce, Port Import/Export Reporting Service, various container data files and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Navigation Data Center, channel depth data, personal commuication June 2001.

  • Container trade has become increasingly concentrated. The top 10 container ports handled 83 percent of U.S. container trade for the last 2 years, compared to 76 percent in 1992.
  • Three of the top five container ports in the United States are on the west coast.
  • Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, had the largest absolute growth in container traffic between 1995 and 2000 (measured in TEUs), rising 75 percent and 50 percent respectively.