Before giving you the top 20 port cities in the US, let’s take a look into the American port sector. More than 26% of the world’s total consumption is contributed to by the US. Therefore, it’s only but natural that the ocean freight industry plays a vital role in the American economy. With a booming economy that’s a vital cog in the wheels of the world economy, the US is home to some of the biggest and busiest ports in the world that dot its coasts.
Available figures show that despite the pandemic and tensions in international trade, as many as 2.2 million jobs were created in America’s coastal ports and the cargo activity at these ports generated a total economic activity valued at around $5.4 trillion (source).
The authorities realize that to sustain such impressive figures, more federal government investments shall be necessary. The AAPA has highlighted the need for continued investments in making improvements in the federal channel, rail, bridge, tunnel, road, and terminal infrastructure. The port sector in the US is therefore all set for a major expansion as it prepares to handle higher cargo volumes.
Here are the top 20 port cities in the US that’ll play a key role in the expansion of the American port sector.
Port of South Louisiana
This port is crucial to handling the grain shipments coming in from the Midwest. It handles as much as 60% of all the exports in raw grain. Spread over 87kms, along the banks of the Mississippi between the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, this port has its headquarters at LaPlace, Louisiana.
Port of Houston
The Port of Houston is counted as the 16th most busy port in the world. In fact, in terms of foreign tonnage, it’s the US’s busiest port. The port is a complex spreading across 50 miles with diverse facilities, both public and private. The Barbours Cut Terminal is the busiest terminal of the port.
Port of New York and New Jersey
Spread across an area of a radius of approximately 40kms. around the Statue of Liberty, the Port of New York and New Jersey is a port district in the New York-Newark metropolitan area. This port happens to be one of the world’s largest natural harbors. The port is a hub of handling bulk and break bulk cargo and cars.
Port of Beaumont
The deep water port of Beaumont is located in Texas near the Neches River’s mouth. While it’s the fourth busiest port in the US, it’s the 47th busiest in the world. Serving as the American Army’s 842d Transportation Battalion headquarters, it’s also the world’s busiest military port.
Port of Long Beach
Adjoining the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach is America’s second-busiest container port. It’s America’s gateway to Asia and the port spreads over 3,200 acres with a 25-mile long waterfront. This port generates as much as around US$100 billion in trade employing 316,000 people.
Virginia Port Authority
The Port of Virginia is owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The major activities of the port are carried out around the Hampton Roads Harbor. The principal activities of the port are carried out at its four marine terminals. There’s also one intermodal transfer facility for containers, a dry port.
Port of New Orleans
The Port of New Orleans is actually a port meant for cruise passengers to embark at. It also serves as the only international container port of Louisiana.
The port has four main lines of business which are:
- Cruise, and
- Industrial real estate
And from the above sectors nearly $100 million of revenue is generated..
Port of Corpus Christi
In terms of total tonnage, the Port of Corpus Christi is counted among the third-largest in the US. This port was started in the year 1926. The port is a major hub of breakbulk cargo, project cargo, oil and gas, dry bulk, and refrigerated and containerized cargo among others.
Port of Greater Baton Rouge
The northernmost port on the Mississippi River, the port of Greater Baton Rouge is large enough to handle Panamax ships. In terms of the tonnage shipped, it’s the tenth largest of all ports in the US. The port has a strategic location and it’s linked to other major ports located between the cities of states of Florida and Texas.
Port of Los Angeles
Under the management of the Los Angeles Department, the Port of Los Angeles is spread across 7,500 acres along a 69kms. long waterfront. The port is in the San Pedro Bay of Los Angeles. It’s one of America’s vital ports and it handles around 20% of all cargo that is shipped into the US. The port has as many as 25 cargo terminals and 8 well-maintained container terminals.
Located on the Gulf of Mexico at the Mississippi River’s mouth, this port is counted among the largest seaports in the United State. The port offers access through waterways to 33 states. It allows businesses to flourish by taking advantage of the barge, rail, and interstate highway access to much of the United States.
Port of Lake Charles
Located in Lake Charles City, Louisiana, USA, the Port of Lake Charles is a major industrial port. The American Association of Port Authorities has identified the port as the 12th busiest in the United States. It has 15 public and 8 private berths. The major item shipped at the port is crude oil as well as a variety of combustibles.
Port of Mobile
Located on the Mobile River emptying into the Mobile Bay, the Port of Mobile is Alabama’s only deep-water port. There are deepwater terminals that give direct access to 1,500 miles of waterways, both inland and Intracoastal connecting the Great Lakes, the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys, and the Gulf of Mexico. The port is America’s largest one for breakbulk forest products.
Port of Texas City
Located in Galveston Bay, the Port of Texas City has counted among the other America’s major deep water ports. Opened in 1893, it’s one of the busiest ports in the world as it’s located on one of the world’s most important shipping hubs. The value of annual cargo handled here is US$10.8 billion.
Port of Huntington Tri-State
Opened in the year 2000, the Port of Huntington Tri-State is America’s largest inland port. It’s on West Virginia’s Ohio River. This Ohio River has spread nearly 100 miles that touches the port area right from the mouth of the Scioto River to Galia County’s northern border. The port also includes a 90 mile stretch of the Kanawha River.
Port of Baltimore
Located by the tidal basins of the Patapsco River’s three branches, the Port of Baltimore is a major shipping port. It’s the largest port facility handling specialized cargo and passenger facilities in the US. The port has bulk handling facilities, ro-ro facilities as well as steel handling infrastructure. It also handles around 700,000 vehicles per year.
Port of Duluth-Superior
The Port of Duluth-Superior is located at Lake Superior’s westernmost tip. It’s the farthest-inland freshwater seaport of North America. The waterfront includes 20 bulk cargo docks which are privately owned and a general cargo terminal as well. There’s also a marine fueling depot and dry docks.
The Port of Port Arthur
The Port of Port Arthur has access to global markets and is a world-class port located on the Sabine Neches Waterway. It’s 19 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico. The port is well connected to highways, pipelines, railroads, and inland waterways that spread across North America. It has assumed greater significance after a major expansion in 2000.
Port of St. Louis
The Port of St. Louis is the Mississippi River’s northernmost port and the third-busiest inland port of the US. This port is also ice-free round the year. The port is equipped with 15 barge transfer facilities that can handle as many as 150 barges a day which happens to be the highest level of capacity along the Mississippi.
Port of Pittsburgh
Spanning as many as twelve counties, the Port of Pittsburgh is a massive river traffic zone. The port comprises as much as 200 miles of waterways navigable commercially in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Port of Pittsburgh can handle 200+ river terminals.
List of Top 20 US Ports in 2021
|Sl. No.||Name & Address||Phone No.||Website|
|1||Port of South Louisiana|
P.O. Box 909 171 Belle Terre Boulevard La Place, LA 70069-0909 United States
|2||Port of Houston|
111 East Loop North (77029) P.O. Box 2562 (77252-2562) Houston, TX 77252-2562 United States
|3||Port of New York and New Jersey|
225 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10003 United States
|4||Port of Beaumont|
1225 Main Street Beaumont, TX 77701 United States
|5||Port of Long Beach|
925 Harbor Plaza P.O. Box 570 Long Beach, CA 90801-0570 United States
|562 437 0041||http://www.polb.com/|
|6||Virginia Port Authority|
7737 Hampton Blvd. Norfolk, VA 23505 United States
|7||Port of New Orleans|
1350 Port of New Orleans Place New Orleans, LA 70130 United States
|8||Port of Corpus Christi|
222 Power Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 United States
|9||Port of Greater Baton Rouge|
2425 Ernest Wilson Drive P.O. Box 380 Port Allen, LA 70767-0380 United States
|10||Port of Los Angeles|
425 S. Palos Verdes St. San Pedro, CA 90731 United State
|310 732 3400||http://www.portoflosangeles.org/|
8056 LA-23 3rd floor, Belle Chasse, LA 70037, United States
|12||Port of Lake Charles|
150 Marine Street Lake Charles, LA 70602 United States
|13||Port of Mobile|
P.O. Box 1588 Mobile, AL 36633 United States
|14||Port of Texas City|
2425 Hwy. 146 N. Texas City, TX 77590 United States
|15||Port of Huntington Tri-State|
Huntington, West Virginia, Charleston, WV United States
|16||Port of Baltimore|
MPA World Trade Center 401 East Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21202 United States
|17||Port of Duluth-Superior|
1200 Port Terminal Drive Duluth, MN 55802 United States
|18||The Port of Port Arthur|
100 W Lakeshore Dr, Port Arthur, TX 77641, United States
|19||Port of St. Louis|
1015 Locust Street Suite 1200 Saint Louis, MO 63101 United States
|20||Port of Pittsburgh|
425 Sixth Avenue Suite 2990 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 United States
Keeping the wheels of the mammoth American running are its ports. The ports happen to be the US’s gateway to global markets giving her access to many of the busiest waterways and shipping lanes. Each of the ports in our article on the top 20 port cities in the US is a modern facility equipped with the latest infrastructure. All the ports serve the local American economies bringing prosperity to the region. These major American ports are all set to drive the US economy into the future.