According to the number of domestic TEUs and total tonnage they handled, we will examine the largest sea ports in the USA. This list of seaports in the U.S. ought to provide you with a clear picture of the facilities’ overall capability. The vast majority of global trade takes place above the waves of the enormous oceans. In fact, before travelling by rail and road, 90% of commodities are transported by sea at some point.
Ports are the locations where the handoff between the water and land must take place carefully. The amount of cargo a port handles and its size both affect its economic impact. As a result, our ranking of the ten largest ports in North America should be viewed as a list of some of the country’s most important economic hubs.
Top 10 Major Sea Ports in the USA
Both the American Association of Port Authorities and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics are the original sources of this information. The most recent report was, regrettably, released in 2019. A report could be released in 2022. If and when it occurs, we’ll add the new details to this list. In the interim, we’ll list the most recent information. Take a look at this US seaport list with the names of the biggest seaports in the USA.
10. The Oakland Port
Here, the first container ship terminals were constructed. It was the primary port on the Pacific Coast. The Port of Oakland is rated as one of the top three gateways on the West Coast, despite the fact that it frequently gets overlooked in favour of its bigger siblings. Ninety-nine per cent of all containerized products that go through Northern California are handled by the port.
- Vessel arrivals: 1775
- Annual container volume: 2.5 million TEUs
- Leading trading partner: Asia
9. The South Carolina Port
The South Carolina ports are comprised of the ports of Georgetown and Charleston port. Given that the port directly or indirectly supports 10% of all jobs in South Carolina and pays earnings that are 32% over the state average, it is clear how significant the port is as compared to other seaports in the USA to the state’s economy.
- Annual cargo volume: 1.9 million TEUs
- Foreign ports served: 100
- Economic impact: $63.4 billion
- Direct and indirect employment: 187,200
8. The Houston Port
The Port of Houston is the busiest among the seaports in the USA when it comes to international waterborne tonnage. There are more than 200 public and private terminals in the 50-mile-long port. The Houston Port, the largest port on the Gulf Coast, transports 52% of the region’s project cargo. The NeoPanamax expansion is one of its current areas of emphasis.
- Vessel calls: 8200
- Barges: 215,000
- Annual cargo tonnage: 247 million metric revenue tons
- Annual cargo volume: 1.6 million TEUs
- Leading products: Petroleum and petroleum products
- Economic impact on the state: $339 billion
- Direct and indirect employment: 3.2 million
7. Port of Virginia
One of the busiest sea ports in the USA, on the East Coast, the Port of Virginia, has been expanding at a 2.6% yearly rate over the past five years. It can only get busier at the port as global corporations like Amazon and Navien establish facilities there. The principal terminals in this area are Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport, Virginia International, and Virginia Inland. The Savannah and Virginia ports’ Georgia-Virginia partnership has been approved by regulators, and the port is anticipated to gain significantly from the combined economies of scale.
- Major terminals: 5
- Container volume: 2.85 million TEUs
- Direct and indirect employment: 397,000
- Economic impact on the state: $92 billion
6. Port Metro Vancouver
The North Fraser Port Authority and the Fraser River Port Authority combined with the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest port, to create Port Metro Vancouver in 2008. The port, which spans 3700 acres, is comparable in size to Canada’s next five largest ports and is predicted to develop at a rate of 3.5% annually.
- Major terminals: 25
- Vessels handled: 2677
- Annual cargo tonnage: 76.5 million metric revenue tons
- Container volume: 1.8 million TEUs
- Annual cargo value: $276 billion
- Direct and indirect employment: 115,300
- Impact on GDP: $11.9 billion
5. The Port of Seattle-Tacoma
The two ports in Washington were combined in 2014 to form the Port of Seattle-Tacoma. It rose to the third-largest cargo-handling company in America in 2015. The port, which contributes significantly to the local economy, generated $9.7 billion in revenue in 2017. The port invested $500 million in Terminal 5 modernization in 2019.
- Container volume: 3.7 million TEUs
- Total containers: 4.2 million
- Primary exports: Oilseeds and grains, machinery, computers
- Direct and indirect employment: 151,400
4. Georgia Ports (Savannah and Brunswick)
When combined, Savannah and Brunswick, two of Georgia’s four ports, come in at number four on our ranking of the biggest sea ports in the USA. The Port of Savannah is home to the largest single-terminal container facility in the nation, whereas more than a dozen automakers use Brunswick as an import centre for their vehicles
- Container volume: 4.35 million TEU in Savannah alone
- Deepwater terminals: Garden City terminal (1200 acres), Ocean terminal (200 acres)
- Primary goods: Automobiles, heavy machinery, agricultural products
3. New York Port and New Jersey Port
With 72 per cent of all first ports of calls going to the New York and New Jersey ports, it is one of the largest seaports in the USA established on the East Coast. The port, which includes waterways in the New York-New Jersey Estuary, contains two foreign trade zones.
- Container volume: 7.4 million TEUs
- Total containers: 4.2 million
- Annual cargo tonnage: 74 million metric revenue tons
- Annual container value: $205 billion
- Leading trading partners: China, India, Germany
2. The Port of Long Beach
The Long Beach Port, which ranks as the second-largest of the major sea ports in the USA on our list, is located not far from the Los Angeles Port—less than 30 kilometres away. It was established in 1911 and is currently one of the main trade routes connecting Asia and North America. Through initiatives like the Green Port Policy, the Long Beach Port was one of the first to embrace environmentally friendly rules to lessen its influence on the environment.
- Total size: 3200 acres
- Cargo berths: 80
- Annual cargo tonnage: 78.2 million metric revenue tons
- Annual container value: $180 billion
- Direct and indirect employment: 370,000
- Known for: Environment-friendly policies, including, the implementation of the Clean Air Action Plan
1. Los Angeles Port
The Port of Los Angeles, also referred to as America’s Port is the biggest port in North America. It manages 20% of all arriving freight for the seaports in the USA and is spread out over 7500 acres. In comparison to 2018, when it had 8.8 million TEU, its container volume increased by 5.5 per cent to 9.3 million TEU in 2019.
- Total size: 7500 acres
- Cargo terminals: 25
- Vessels handled: 1867
- Annual cargo tonnage: 178 million metric revenue tons
- Annual cargo value: $276 billion
- Leading trading partners: China and Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea
- Direct and indirect employment: 1.6 million all over the US
Do you conduct business with other continents outside of the seaports of North America? If so, it’s probable that one or more of these top 10 container ports in the USA will see your goods. Enter your tracking number here to see the real-time movement of your shipment and track its progress. It’s usually a good idea to have some knowledge about the facilities that will handle your ocean freight, aside from the fact that they are notable for their economic impact on Canada and the United States. You can view the real-time port congestion data on these ports by GoComet. If you wish to check the ongoing container freight rates in the busiest USA ports, you can check here!