What Are The 8 Major U.S. Ports on the East Coast?

The United States, like most countries in the world, relies on international trade to grow its economy. And maintain its status as a world power. Due to its strategic location, the United States relies on ships for maritime trade. With its partners through east coast ports. Approximately 69% of all goods traded in the United States are transported by waterway, primarily via ocean cargo ships. According to Statista, the US merchant fleet reached a total of 1,800 vessels in 2022 Globally. The United States operates 26% of the world’s merchant fleet. Ranking 11th behind maritime nations such as Greece, China, and Japan.

East Coast Ports and West Coasts of the United States – Key Figures 

There are more than 50 ports in the United States, and the Ports of Long Beach. And Los Angeles on the West Coast are still the busiest ports in the nation. But east coast ports are also gradually rising. According to the 2022 PMSA West Coast Trade Report. Gulf Coast and East Coast ports are catching up with their Western counterparts. In addition, in 2017, the US West Coast received more than twice as much cargo from East Asia. As the East Coast H 542 million tons vs 218 million tons. However, it is worth noting that East Coast ports have seen an increase of 25 million tons since 2016.

East Coast ports also saw a 6% increase in container shipments from East Asia in 2017. With the Ports of Charleston and Jacksonville being the top performers in the region. Growth of US East Coast ports have made several investments in recent years and are reported to be handling increasing volumes of cargo. They have begun upgrading port facilities to handle more containers. Expanding existing berths, and even expanding rail terminals to meet growing demand and remain competitive. Although goods from Asia can usually be imported into the US more quickly by going through West Coast ports, data from the past decade suggests that it may also be economical at some. 

8 Major East Coast Ports

1. Port of New York and New Jersey 

The Port of New York and also New Jersey is located between Brooklyn, New Jersey and Manhattan. As a major port on the East Coast of the United States, it handles a wide variety of cargoes and vessels of all kinds, from container ships, RoRo ships, bulk carriers and general cargo ships to tankers. As a major container center on the East Coast of the United States and North America, the port has six different container terminals. Marine terminals are found throughout the port, especially along the Brooklyn Waterfront in New York City and along the shores of Newark Bay in New Jersey.

It is also an important center for the import and export of automobiles. Most of the general cargo terminals are owned and also managed by the Port Authority of the New York and New Jersey. Some operations are privatized, and private terminal operators usually lease terminals from the Port Authority to conduct cargo operations. The port imports gravestones, ethyl alcohol, vegetables and fruits, fruit juices, automobiles, wine, paper and cardboard, coffee, furniture, and ceramic flags.

2. Port of Savannah 

The Port of Savannah is home to the largest container terminal in North America. It includes two deepwater terminals, Garden City Terminal and Ocean Terminal. Garden City Terminal is the fourth largest container handling facility in the United States. It is located on 1,200 acres and handles millions of tons of containerized cargo each year. Ocean Terminal is the port’s general cargo and RoRo facility and is located on 201 acres. It also has more than 14 million square feet of covered storage space.

The natural inland port, located 15 nautical miles up the Savannah River from the Atlantic Ocean, is operated by the Georgia Ports Authority In addition to these two terminals, there are many private wharf operators and free trade zones The Port of Savannah imports sugar, cement, textiles, ores, steel, machinery, petroleum products, forest products, and gypsum, and exports kaolin, vegetable oils and oilseeds, scrap iron, peanuts, wood pulp, paper, and agricultural machinery. 

3. Port of Virginia 

The Port of Virginia has six terminals on 1,864 acres, handling cargo from all over the world. The port is the deepest port of its kind on the US East Coast and is home to the world’s largest naval base. It also has a robust shipbuilding and ship repair industry, supporting a thriving coal trade and the sixth-largest container shipping complex in the US The port has a 50-foot-wide channel for ingress and egress and is the only port on the US East Coast with congressional approval for 55 feet of dredging.

 The Norfolk Port dredging project continues to reach a depth of 55 feet, creating the deepest channel on the East Coast. With container ships now getting larger and larger, the availability of deep sea vessels and the fact that there are no limitations on overhead vessels are a key competitive advantage. Virginia is an important port. Approximately 30 international shipping lines offer direct service to and from Virginia, with connections to more than 200 countries.

4. Port of Charleston 

The Port of Charleston is located in the southeastern US state of South Carolina, straddling the communities of Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and North Charleston. The port has six public terminals to handle containers, rail cars, general cargo, project cargo, and automobiles. The port also has a cruise terminal and other private facilities that handle coal, steel, and petroleum. In 2020, the Port of Charleston ranked 6th in the United States by cargo value, with imports and exports exceeding $72 billion. In 2021, the Port of Charleston handled 2 85 million TEUs. Union Pier Terminal handles forest products, metals, general cargo, and cruise ships. Columbus Street Terminal handles project cargo, RoRo, and general cargo; Wando Welch Terminal handles container ships. Veterans Terminal primarily handles bulk, RoRo, and project cargo. North Charleston Terminal and the recently opened Hugh K Leatherman Terminal also handle containerized cargo.

5. Port of Boston 

The Port of Boston is located on the Boston Harbor and is the largest port in Massachusetts. It is also a key facility on the East Coast of the United States. Historically, it was located at the forefront of the growth of the city of Boston; it was formerly located in what is now downtown Long Wharf. It has eight ocean-going berths and six riverside berths. It handles steel, bulk goods, palletized and general cargo, paper, forest products, and containers. Approximately 600 ships and 700,100 tons of cargo are handled at the port annually. Before the colonizationcolonization of the Americas, the area was a trading post for Native Americans.

Soon after, John Winthrop established a settlement in Boston in the 17th century, and shipbuilding began to develop. Trade goods during this period included timber, shipbuilding, salted fish. Boston Harbor is also home to Flynn Cruiseport, a cruise terminal that has been operating since 1986. It has Canadian ports in San Diego, Europe, and New York from April to November. Conley Terminal handles containerized cargo for the Port of Boston. It has been in operation since after World War II and was known as Castle Island Terminal at the time Boston Autoport is a specialized facility that focuses primarily on the processing and transportation of automobiles.

6. Port of Jacksonville 

The Port of Jacksonville is located on the St Johns River in northeast Florida, approximately 24 nautical miles from the Atlantic Ocean. There are four facilities along the river, Blount Island Marine Terminal and Ed Austin Terminal, which handle containerized cargo. The other two are are Talleyrand Dock and Terminal. and Commodore Point Terminal.The port also handles vehicles, bulk cargo, RoRo and general cargo. Jacksonville is the largest port in Florida and the 14th very largest container port in the US. It handles 1,338,000 containers and is the second largest vehicle transshipment port in the United States, with 695,500 containers handled in 2019.. It exports paper products, fertilizers, chemicals, marine supplies, scrap metal, feed, general cargo, and phosphate rock.

7. Port of Portland 

Located in Portland, Maine, this port is the second largest seaport in New England by tonnage and one of the largest oil ports on the East Coast. It is also the most important port of call for the Icelandic shipping company skip. This heavily protected port is open all year round and has plenty of space for huge ships to dock. It handles paper, scrap metal, salt, containers, coal, petroleum products, wood pulp, and more. The Port of Portland handles 22 million tons of cargo annually Portland has nine terminals and two passenger facilities (Casco Bay Ferry Terminal and Ocean Gateway International Marine Passenger Terminal), but most commercial terminals handle petroleum products It is also a popular cruise destination, with 100 cruise ships docking in Portland in 2019, making it Maine’s second-largest cruise port.

8. Port of Baltimore

The Port of Baltimore is located on the Patapsco River near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland in the eastern United States and is one of the region’s busiest ports and industrial centres. The 45-mile coastline has five public and 12 private terminals handling general merchandise, dry liquid bulk cargo, and containerized cargo. The port handles 3785 million tons of cargo, 632,000 TEUs, and 252,000 passengers annually. The Port of Maryland has the deepest harbour on the Chesapeake Bay.

It is also closer to the Midwest than any other port on the East Coast, with one-third of the country’s population within an overnight drive. After the expansion of the Panama Canal, large cargo ships from the Far East. Arrived here with a 50-foot channel and two 50-foot container berths, it can accommodate two of the largest container ships simultaneously. In 2022, it ranked first in the country in handling light trucks, construction machinery, passenger cars, and imported gypsum. It ranked second in coal exports and sixth in coffee imports.

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