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Statue of Liberty overlooking Port of New York and New Jersey

Statue of Liberty overlooking STS cranes at the Port of New York and New Jersey. Photo: Edgar Feliz/Shutterstock

Port of New York and New Jersey Regains Status as Busiest Container Port in US

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 4444
April 4, 2023

The Port of New York and New Jersey has officially regained its status as the busiest container port in the United States.

Despite a traditionally slow period for US ports in February, the Port of New York and New Jersey managed to move 571,177 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of cargo in February, surpassing West Coast rivals such as the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach by more than 83,000 TEUs and 27,000 TEUs, respectively.

This comes after the Port of New York and New Jersey moved 645,430 TEUs in January, making it the second-busiest container port in the country behind the Port of Los Angeles, which moved 726,013 during the month.

In total, the Port of New York and New Jersey moved a whopping 1,216,607 TEUs in the first two months of 2023, making it the busiest container port in the country to start 2023.

The port has been particularly active in clearing out its empty container inventory, removing more than 390,000 TEUs so far this year. This has helped improve seaport operations and fluidity, ensuring that more container terminal space is available for imports to be processed more quickly in the future.

“The Port of New York and New Jersey is again No. 1 in the nation,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “After years of unprecedented cargo growth, we are using this traditionally slow period to work with our port stakeholders who need to increase capacity throughout the regional supply chain. We expect a stronger second half of the year, as we have been in discussions with many importers that shifted volume to us from elsewhere and are now committed to keeping that volume in our gateway.”

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton also lauded the port’s success, saying, “The Port of New York and New Jersey’s return to the top spot as the nation’s busiest demonstrates the port’s continued reliability and consistency as other ports experienced uncertainty and challenges recently.”

In 2022, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled nearly 9.5 million TEUs, its highest annual amount of cargo in history but shy of the Port of Los Angeles’ 9.9 million TEUs. The port was previously the busiest container port in the country for four months last year, starting in August and lasting through November.

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