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North American Ports Report Preview

Economic impact on port activity and the trends expected to impact 2021.

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The narrative for ports this past year was full of dramatic twists and turns. The COVID-19 pandemic sent consumer sectors into disarray, which initially caused merchants and suppliers to cut orders due to an expected decrease in consumer spending. However, drastic changes in consumer behavior brought an onslaught of e-commerce purchases. To accommodate this unprecedented product demand from U.S. retailers, factories in China had to revamp production lines.  
North American ports, which were slow in February and March, began to experience higher volumes by June/July as import orderbooks filled. By August, West Coast ports—particularly Los Angeles and Long Beach—began to report difficulties obtaining chassis and issues with container yard flows. There was virtually no relief for the rest of the year. Volumes boomed at ports across the continent, particularly at the largest and most import-oriented container gateways like Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York-New Jersey, and Savannah. 
Find out more about the economic impact on port activity and the trends expected to impact 2021 in our North American Ports Report Preview, and subscribe to get notified when the full report is released in early Q2. 
Report Includes: 
  • Ranking of Top North American Ports 
  • 2020 Port Volume Market Share 
  • Trends to Watch 

David Bovet and Tom Keane of New Harbor Consultants, Cushman & Wakefield’s port consulting partner, contributed to this report. 

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