East Coast imports reach all-time high in June

U.S. East Coast ports are far from threatening the West Coast's dominance over import supply chains, but the rising figures suggest the gateways' investment plans are paying off.

Since the expansion of the Panama Canal in June 2016 — which allowed post-panamax sized vessels (13,000 TEUs at a time) to cross from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans — East Coast ports have invested heavily on dredging projects, new cranes and other logistics projects that would allow them to handle greater volumes.

The projects, however, are but one of the reasons East Coast ports hit a volume record two months ahead of peak season.

In general, yearly trends suggest global trade remains on the upswing, despite economic headwinds in a few countries. Although eastern seaports handled record volumes, the top four ports still only received 40% of total loaded container imports in June 2018. (In June 2016, the top four ports received 39%). However, the U.S. received 219,753 more TEUs of loaded container imports in its top eight ports than it did two years ago.

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