Source: Journal of Commerce
September 11th 2015
The Port of Baltimore’s full container volume in 20-foot-equivalent units rose 6 percent year-over-year during the first seven months of this year, as a strong dollar and diversions from congested East Coast ports fueled a surge in import traffic.
Through July, the port handled 356,697 TEUs of full containers, Maryland Port Administration statistics show. Nearly two-thirds of that volume was imported cargo, which benefited from a strong dollar and rerouted shipments from more congested ports. Exports were roughly flat at 128,362 TEUs.
Including empty containers, the port’s seven-month volume was 497,445 TEUs, a 12.6 percent increase.
On June 30 the port closed out a record fiscal year for container volume, with 808,500 TEUs in total container volume, including a one-month record in with 79,644 TEUs in June.
The port also set a fiscal-year record for general cargo tons, which includes containers; autos; roll-on, roll-off cargo including farm and construction machinery; forest products, and breakbulk cargo. General cargo tons handled totaled 9,742,050 tons in the 12 months ending June 30.
Other East Coast ports such as New York-New Jersey, Savannah, Virginia, and Charleston also have posted big gains in recent months, aided by rerouting to avoid West Coast port congestion earlier this year. During the first half of this year, the U.S. ports with the highest rates of year-over-year growth in import containers included eight East Coast ports, led by Savannah with a 33 percent increase.
The West Coast congestion, exacerbated by a showdown between longshore labor and employers, cost U.S. Pacific ports five percentage points in import market share, according to PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS. Pacific ports’ share fell to 50 percent while the East Coast’s share rose by three points to 43 percent and the Gulf increased by one percentage point, to 6 percent.