JOC Rankings: Resins buoy US Gulf Coast ports during COVID-19

JOC Rankings: Resins buoy US Gulf Coast ports during COVID-19

Imports through the top nine US Gulf Coast ports fell 2.3 percent year over year through July, while exports slipped 1.6 percent. Photo credit: Port Tampa Bay.

Containerized cargo volumes flowing through the busiest US Gulf Coast ports declined marginally in the first seven months of 2020, buffeted by the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global consumer demand but buoyed by continued — albeit much slower — growth in resin exports and an expanding share of imports from Asia.

The nine largest gateways for container cargo on the US Gulf Coast handled a total of 2.05 million TEU through July, a 2 percent decrease from the same seven months in 2019, according to the JOC Top 9 US Gulf Ports 2020 rankings. Imports through those ports fell 2.3 percent year over year during the period, while exports slipped 1.6 percent.

Port Houston, which continues to dominate the Gulf Coast market, accounting for more than two out of every three boxes that move in and out of the region, saw its import volumes fall 4.7 percent to 685,889 TEU during the period as COVID-19 lockdowns brought the US economy to a standstill. But only two other ports registered year-over-year declines in imports in the first seven months of 2020: Gulfport (down 7.7 percent) and Galveston (down 0.5 percent).

On the export side, volumes through Houston actually increased, ticking up 1.2 percent to 713,366 TEU compared with the first seven months of 2019, thanks in large part to increased resin production in the region. Total outbound shipments of resins from the United States grew 6.8 percent to 542,762 TEU through July, according to data from PIERS, a sister company of JOC.com within IHS Markit.

Export gains were also recorded in Mobile (14.7 percent), Galveston (14.3 percent), and Tampa (11.4 percent), but that growth was offset by declines at New Orleans (3.1 percent), Freeport (17.4 percent), Gulfport (55.3 percent), Panama City (3.2 percent), and Manatee (87.8 percent).

JOC.com’s Top US Gulf Coast Ports and Container Carriers rankings are compiled using data from PIERS. Volume figures are expressed in 20-foot equivalent units (TEU). One standard 40-foot ocean container equals two TEU. Non-containerized cargoes — i.e., dry bulk, liquid bulk, roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro), and oversized/heavy-lift project freight — are not included.

Rankings compiled by Marcin Lejk, data analyst.

JOC Top 9 US Gulf Coast Ports by Imports

US Gulf Coast imports, January-July 2020 vs. January-July 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 in laden TEU
2020 RankUS Gulf Coast PortJan.-July 2020 Market Share
January–July Volume
2017201820192020
Percent Volume Change in
Jan.-July 2020
From 2017From 2018From 2019

1Houston, TX66.3%601,737663,315719,969685,88914.0%3.4%-4.7%
2Mobile, AL10.8%67,73469,183111,659111,68564.9%61.4%0.0%
3New Orleans, LA7.9%60,29473,02181,05981,29634.8%11.3%0.3%
4Gulfport, MS4.4%54,58949,46249,11845,330-17.0%-8.4%-7.7%
5Tampa, FL3.4%20,15027,49933,21735,66877.0%29.7%7.4%
6Manatee, FL2.6%14,99514,15924,31726,78478.6%89.2%10.1%
7Freeport, TX1.9%19,28320,24617,32919,3680.4%-4.3%11.8%
8Panama City, FL1.7%9,5228,96311,38117,23381.0%92.3%51.4%
9Galveston, TX1.1%9,72410,28711,06311,01013.2%7.0%-0.5%
TOTAL JOC TOP 9 US GULF IMPORT PORTS 858,028936,1331,059,1111,034,26320.5%10.5%-2.3%
TOTAL US GULF IMPORTS 859,094938,0201,059,7801,034,87920.5%10.3%-2.3%
Source: IHS Markit

JOC Top 9 US Gulf Coast Ports by Exports

US Gulf Coast exports, January-July 2020 vs. January-July 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 in laden TEU
2020 RankUS Gulf Coast PortJan.-July 2020 Market Share
January–July Volume
2017201820192020
Percent Volume Change in
Jan.-July 2020
From 2017From 2018From 2019

1Houston, TX70.0%587,662597,805705,072713,36621.4%19.3%1.2%
2New Orleans, LA16.3%174,419159,313171,617166,289-4.7%4.4%-3.1%
3Mobile, AL8.0%74,40577,43170,91481,3539.3%5.1%14.7%
4Freeport, TX2.1%20,76517,75525,58321,1401.8%19.1%-17.4%
5Gulfport, MS2.0%33,74545,86446,69120,869-38.2%-54.5%-55.3%
6Galveston, TX0.7%4,3653,6985,7946,62451.8%79.1%14.3%
7Tampa, FL0.5%5,6952,7014,7005,234-8.1%93.8%11.4%
8Panama City, FL0.4%5,0385,1103,7473,628-28.0%-29.0%-3.2%
9Manatee, FL0.0%4,2631,02648859-98.6%-94.2%-87.8%
TOTAL JOC TOP 9 US GULF EXPORT PORTS 910,355910,7021,034,6041,018,56111.9%11.8%-1.6%
TOTAL US GULF EXPORTS 910,450911,8451,034,9961,018,58311.9%11.7%-1.6%
Source: IHS Markit

JOC Top 10 Container Carriers by US Gulf Coast Imports

US Gulf Coast imports, January-July 2020 vs. January-July 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 in laden TEU
2020 RankOcean CarrierJan.-July 2020 Market Share
January–July Volume
2017201820192020
Percent Volume Change in
Jan.-July 2020
From 2017From 2018From 2019

1A.P. Møller - Maersk*20.3%157,003190,400233,471209,79733.6%10.2%-10.1%
2Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC)19.8%153,463176,059204,349204,43433.2%16.1%0.0%
3CMA CGM/APL18.1%123,225142,802176,338187,20451.9%31.1%6.2%
4Hapag-Lloyd10.5%98,09499,763112,824108,90511.0%9.2%-3.5%
5Cosco Shipping/OOCL8.8%96,14692,91698,65791,210-5.1%-1.8%-7.5%
6Dole3.9%41,55343,95839,67440,516-2.5%-7.8%2.1%
7Zim Integrated Shipping Services3.3%38,67550,37433,88233,853-12.5%-32.8%-0.1%
8Evergreen Line2.8%11,24521,70228,37128,743155.6%32.4%1.3%
9World Direct Shipping2.0%6,7136,49415,45620,585206.6%217.0%33.2%
10
Linea Peninsular
1.7%13,70912,81715,26118,07131.8%41.0%18.4%
TOTAL JOC TOP 10 US GULF IMPORT CARRIERS 739,826837,286958,283943,31827.5%12.7%-1.6%
TOTAL US GULF IMPORTS859,094938,0201,059,7801,034,87920.5%10.3%-2.3%
*A.P. Møller - Maersk includes Maersk Line, Sealand, Safmarine, and Hamburg Sud.
Source: IHS Markit

JOC Top 10 Container Carriers by US Gulf Coast Exports

US Gulf Coast exports, January-July 2020 vs. January-July 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 in laden TEU
2020 RankOcean CarrierJan.-July 2020 Market Share
January–July Volume
2017201820192020
Percent Volume Change in
Jan.-July 2020
From 2017From 2018From 2019

1Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC)24.3%213,947197,423246,754247,47815.7%25.4%0.3%
2A.P. Møller - Maersk*21.0%205,879210,217232,063213,5733.7%1.6%-8.0%
3CMA CGM/APL17.1%134,039128,532154,902173,76729.6%35.2%12.2%
4Hapag-Lloyd13.6%107,984124,690144,754138,75128.5%11.3%-4.1%
5Cosco Shipping/OOCL6.6%56,55757,81665,41967,25818.9%16.3%2.8%
6Seaboard Marine4.3%51,70050,52846,66943,424-16.0%-14.1%-7.0%
7Evergreen Line3.7%6,41818,79617,39338,024492.5%102.3%118.6%
8Zim Integrated Shipping Services2.5%31,04124,36424,38025,696-17.2%5.5%5.4%
9Ocean Network Express1.4%11,04010,60518,06814,04427.2%32.4%-22.3%
10Great White Fleet1.1%23,90119,69814,72411,062-53.7%-43.8%-24.9%
TOTAL JOC TOP 10 US GULF EXPORT CARRIERS 842,505842,670965,126973,07615.5%15.5%0.8%
TOTAL US GULF EXPORTS 910,450911,8451,034,9961,018,58311.9%11.7%-1.6%
*A.P. Møller - Maersk includes Maersk Line, Sealand, Safmarine, and Hamburg Sud.
Source: IHS Markit