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Global News North American Port Rankings: Mexico volume growth highlights nearshoring momentum

Registration dateJUN 12, 2024

JOC StaffMay 24, 2024, 9:00 AM EDT
Articles reproduced by permission of Journal of Commerce.

JOC Staff
May 24, 2024, 9:00 AM EDT
Articles reproduced by permission of Journal of Commerce.

North American Port Rankings: Mexico volume growth highlights nearshoring momentum Container lines this spring have launched new services connecting Asia with the port of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas. Photo credit: Ievgenii Bakhvalov / Shutterstock.com.
The Mexican ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas last year experienced strong cargo growth in another sign of Asia inputs fueling increased export production for US and other markets, with both ports rising in the Journal of Commerce’s rankings of the busiest North American gateways as measured by laden volumes.

Container traffic through Manzanillo rose nearly 7% year over year in 2023, pushing the Pacific Coast port up two spots to become the fifth-busiest port in North America following Los Angeles, New York-New Jersey, Long Beach and Savannah. Cosco, CMA CGM, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and OOCL this spring have added container services connecting to Manzanillo.

Lazaro Cardenas supplanted Oakland as the 11th-busiest container port in North America, according to the annual rankings. The new MSC and CMA CGM services also call Lazaro Cardenas. Mexico’s Port of Altamira rose one spot to 19th.

Other notable changes to the rankings include Vancouver and Miami each slipping one spot from 2022 to land in the sixth and 16th slots, respectively, for 2023. Prince Rupert, Jacksonville and Mobile each rose a notch in the rankings. Journal of Commerce Top 25 North American Container Ports by Exports Annual containerized exports, in laden TEU
The Journal of Commerce Top 25 North American Container Ports by Exports handled 93.6% (14.1 million TEUs) of the 14.1 million TEUs in total North American containerized exports in 2023. Total export volumes at the Top 25 North American ports, which include 17 US ports, four in Canada, and four in Mexico, decreased 2.2% year over year in 2023. Leading the outbound North American container trade in 2023 were the ports of Houston, Savannah and Los Angeles with a combined volume of 3.9 million TEU, up 6.2% year over year and representing 26.2% of overall North American exports.Echoes of the pandemic market
Journal of Commerce Top 25 North American Container Ports by Exports
2023 Rank North American Port 2023 Market Share TEU Volume
2022 2023
1 Houston 9.1% 1,198,354 1,345,501
2 Savannah 8.6% 1,292,943 1,269,113
3 Los Angeles 8.4% 1,138,345 1,240,122
4 New York-New Jersey 8.3% 1,232,402 1,228,142
5 Virginia 6.7% 955,965 992,258
6 Long Beach 6.4% 1,045,714 942,717
7 Montreal2 5.3% 871,753 779,111
8 Vancouver, BC 5.1% 703,005 754,747
9 Charleston 4.5% 624,268 661,093
10 Oakland 4.2% 643,877 615,496
11 Manzanillo 4.0% 679,618 595,047
12 Northwest Seaport Alliance1 3.9% 536,070 570,703
13 Jacksonville 3.3% 519,839 491,061
14 Altamira 2.2% 356,953 324,306
15 Port Everglades 2.0% 364,115 296,548
16 Miami 2.0% 311,874 288,378
17 Veracruz 1.8% 292,987 268,792
18 Halifax2 1.8% 286,533 265,831
19 Lazaro Cardenas 1.6% 436,293 234,731
20 New Orleans 1.6% 226,087 232,601
21 Baltimore 1.4% 210,839 208,424
22 Mobile 1.1% 143,365 159,858
23 Prince Rupert 0.9% 136,533 125,254
24 Palm Beach 0.8% 119,628 122,480
25 Wilmington, NC 0.7% 113,300 107,757
Total Top 25 North American Ports by Exports 95.9% 14,440,659 14,120,071
Total US ports in Top 25 73.2% 10,676,984 10,772,252
Total Canada ports in Top 25 13.1% 1,997,824 1,924,943
Total Mexico ports in Top 25 9.7% 1,765,851 1,422,876
Total North American exports 100.0% 15,643,021 14,723,774
Total US ports 76.0% 11,662,668 11,188,000
Total Canada ports 13.1% 1,997,824 1,924,943
Total Mexico ports 10.9% 1,982,529 1,610,831
Ranking includes container ports in Canada, Mexico and the United States, omitting ports in U.S. territories and possessions.

US TEU count includes all international containerized ocean borne cargo loading at US ports. Lakes cargo data as available.

1 Combined volumes of Seattle and Tacoma, members of The Northwest Seaport Alliance.
2 Halifax volume includes empty containers.

Sources: Mexico: Ministry of Communications and Transportation; Canada: Port authorities; US: PIERS (www.piers.com), a sister product of the Journal of Commerce within S&P Global, and port authorities. Journal of Commerce Top 25 North American Container Ports by Imports Annual containerized imports, in laden TEU
The Journal of Commerce Top 25 North American Container Ports by Imports handled 95.9% (29.5 million TEUs) of the 29.5 million TEUs in total North American containerized imports in 2023. Total import volumes at the Top 25 North American ports, which include 16 US ports, four in Canada and five in Mexico, decreased 11.7% year over year in 2023. Leading the inbound North American container trade in 2023 were the ports of Los Angeles, New York-New Jersey and Long Beach, with a combined volume of 11.8 million TEUs, down 14.5 percent year over year and representing 38.2 percent of total North American imports.
Journal of Commerce Top 25 North American Container Ports by Imports
2023 Rank North American Port 2023 Market Share TEU Volume
2022 2023
1 Los Angeles 13.9% 4,869,765 4,277,057
2 New York-New Jersey 12.6% 4,732,061 3,868,009
3 Long Beach 11.8% 4,164,066 3,621,817
4 Savannah 7.6% 2,839,255 2,348,066
5 Manzanillo 5.7% 1,632,436 1,757,034
6 Houston 5.7% 1,894,756 1,747,736
7 Vancouver, BC 5.2% 1,835,407 1,601,949
8 Virginia 4.5% 1,610,146 1,400,483
9 Charleston 3.8% 1,349,916 1,171,020
10 Northwest Seaport Alliance1 3.4% 1,256,221 1,057,873
11 Lazaro Cardenas 2.7% 855,183 841,454
12 Oakland 2.6% 954,468 800,851
13 Montreal2 2.5% 850,969 759,353
14 Veracruz 1.8% 562,962 547,188
15 Prince Rupert 1.2% 535,949 369,459
16 Miami 1.7% 542,608 513,415
17 Baltimore 1.6% 488,658 505,223
18 Philadelphia 1.3% 444,808 410,352
19 Altamira 1.1% 354,475 350,432
20 Port Everglades 1.0% 388,588 319,718
21 Jacksonville 1.0% 311,088 306,480
22 Mobile 0.9% 283,498 285,320
23 Halifax2 0.9% 315,167 280,332
24 Ensenada 0.7% 206,303 221,215
25 Wilmington, Del. 0.6% 184,612 182,782
Total Top 25 North America Ports Imports 95.9% 33,463,365 29,544,617
Total US ports in Top 25 74.1% 26,314,514 22,816,201
Total Canada ports in Top 25 9.8% 3,537,492 3,011,093
Total Mexico ports in Top 25 12.1% 3,611,359 3,717,323
Total North American Imports 100.0% 34,783,153 30,801,163
Total US ports 77.9% 27,572,536 24,005,720
Total Canada ports 9.8% 3,537,492 3,011,093
Total Mexico ports 12.3% 3,673,125 3,784,350
Ranking includes container ports in Canada, Mexico and the United States, omitting ports in U.S. territories and possessions.

US TEU count includes all international containerized ocean borne cargo loading at US ports. Lakes cargo data as available.

1 Combined volumes of Seattle and Tacoma, members of The Northwest Seaport Alliance.
2 Volumes include empty containers.

Sources: Mexico: Ministry of Communications and Transportation; Canada: Port authorities; US: PIERS (www.piers.com), a sister product of the Journal of Commerce within S&P Global, and port authorities.