While not all of the US East Coast container ports have disclosed their first-half container volumes yet, throughput numbers from those ports that did report January-to-June stats show an overall year-on- year loss of 8.4%.
The ports of Boston, New York-Newark, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah and Miami recorded a total throughput of 8.47 Mteu in the first half of this year, down from 9.25 Mteu in the same period of 2019.
From north to south, Boston handled 0.15 Mteu (+1.8%), New York- Newark handled 3.37 Mteu (-7.9%), Norfolk handled 1.27 Mteu (- 10.9%), Charleston handled 1.10 Mteu (-9.2%), Savannah handled 2.09 Mteu (-7.2%) and Miami came in at 0.50 Mteu (-11.6%).
Compared to the US West Coast, where volumes dropped 14% in the first half, losses on the East Cost were lower. This might however be misleading, since the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic where first felt in exports from China, which means that the export lull reached the US West Coast earlier. Since COVID-19 reached Europe months after it had started in the Far East, its adverse effects on the Transatlantic trade also reached the USEC with some delay.
While ‘extra sailers’ (technically it is debatable whether one should speak of extra sailers in case of sailings that were initially canceled and later re-instated, but carriers like to advertise them as such) have been implemented in the Asia – Europe and Asia – North America trades, the Atlantic still very much suffers from the COVID-19- related volume lull.