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  • Maggie Mildenberger

US Port Review - January 2024

General Notes

  • Suez Canal and the Red Sea

  • Due to congestion in Panama some steamship lines chose to alter routes to use the Suez Canal.

  • This route adds transit time compared to Panama routes.

  • Starting in November 2023 and continuing into January, Houthi Rebels have conducted attacks on vessels transiting the Red Sea.

  • This has led to some steamship lines avoiding the area, with some vessels routing around Africa (Cape of Good Hope), which increases transit time by several days. (See below image showing container vessels inbound to the USA, note the large amount using this new route).

  • The US military has a presence in the region and is coordinating with other nations to provide security for trade vessels.

  • Lunar New Year / Chinese New Year / Tet

  • Occurs on Saturday February 10th, 2024

  • Many factories will close for several days before and after this date.


US Ports

  • At the start of January, we see that all US ports are operating with minimal delays


Fuel Updates

  • Ocean Fuel (VLSFO) cost ended 2023 at roughly the same price as it started the year.

  • Compared to 2021 and prior the cost is still up 50% +

  • Diesel in the USA as the start of January is $3.87 a gallon

  • Diesel is still roughly 30% higher than 2019 levels, which is keeping freight prices elevated.

  • Additionally, average diesel prices reported by are typically lower than truck stop prices, and are average across large sections of the country.


Data Analysis

  • November 2023 imports were higher than 2022, and significantly higher than 2019.

  • West coast port load share edged ahead of the east coast in November.

The PDF below is port-by-port review across the U.S. in January 2024 compared to 2023 & 2022.

US Port Review January 2024
Download PDF • 699KB


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