The world’s largest trading nation, U.S accounts for over one billion metric tons of commerce (20% of the world’s ocean-borne trade). Today, the U.S is served by publicly – and privately – owned marine facilities located in more than 300 commercial sea and river ports in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf and Great Lakes coasts, in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S Virgin Islands. The main Pacific Northwest ports are in Portland, Oregon. Seattle, Washington. and Tacoma, Washington.
instance, New York has traditionally acted as the gateway of the North American Midwest through the Hudson/Erie canal system. After World War II most terminals were relocated to take advantage of new trade routes and keeping in mind the volume of trade generated with friendly trade partner countries.
It can be seen from the preceding statistics of the year 2003 that due to their strategic geographical locations, the Port of Los Angles and the Port of New York and New Jersey were each able to generate business exceeding $ 100 million in the year 2003. comparatively, the Port of Philadelphia could manage just a tenth of that figure, generating business of just slightly over $ 10 million. The figures presented in the table are the end result of trade in direct proportion to the volume of cargo and the number of ships handled by those ports. the higher the amount of business, the higher the volume of cargo and number of ships handled and vice versa. The huge difference seen is a direct result of the favourable geographical locations of the former two ports and the disadvantageous location of the Port of Philadelphia.
This is the ‘physical capacity’ of the port to accommodate ship operations which has to be adequate in order for ships to maintain a steady stream of cargo movement. The ‘tidal range’ (the difference between the high and low tide), is important as normal ship operations cannot handle variations of more than 3 meters. . .