Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, U.S. seaports experienced a robust year in 2019 with increased twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) counts for both inbound and outbound traffic and minimal labor disputes. 

In January of 2020, the U.S. signed a trade deal with China that imposed increased tariffs of as much as 25% on Chinese-made goods, prompting U.S. importers to increase sourcing in locations such as Southeast Asia. Despite this, overall trade volume increased – and then COVID-19 posed unprecedented challenges.

Most of the industrial markets surrounding the nine seaports featured in this report also performed well and include some of the strongrest markets in the U.S. Combined, the markets reported an overall vacancy rate of just 4.5% at the end of the first quarter of 2020, lower than the national average of 5.1%.

Download a PDF of the 2020 U.S. Seaports Outlook Report.