West Coast Ports Bounce Back; Asian Imports Return

Analyzing the shift of US imports from Asia: West Coast ports show resurgence as East Coast metrics present a mixed bag.

West Coast Ports Bounce Back; Asian Imports Return

US imports from Asia are seeing a noticeable shift. The West Coast, especially, is making waves as it starts to reclaim its dominant position for imports.

The West Coast is on the road to reclaim lost market share from the West and Gulf ports after drops from 2022 to Summer 2023. Image Source: Gateway/Journal of Commerce/ PIERS, S&P Global


  • September’s Import TEUs: West Coast ports are closing in on their 2019 metrics with a +9% increase year-on-year.
  • Comparison with 2019: West Coast's imports are just 1% below their 2019 figures, while the East Coast boasts an 18% rise compared to 2019, despite an -8% dip year-on-year.

This return of cargo to the West Coast might be influenced by the recent ratification of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union contract. This move has significantly boosted retailers' confidence, evidenced by the ports' ability to handle more cargo almost immediately.

A comparative look at terminal and rail container dwell times over the years, spotlighting a significant rise in 2022 followed by an easing in 2023. Image Source: Gateway/Journal of Commerce, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

It's crucial to monitor the port dynamics, especially considering the September 2024 expiration of the labor contract for East and Gulf Coast ports.

Sources: Journal of Commerces' Gateway | John Paul Hampstead/Twitter

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