Despite the year’s dismal numbers, the long term pattern remained positive with regional traffic growing by an annual average of 3.6% between 2000 and 2009.
Hardest hit by the 2009 slump were the US Pacific and Canadian Atlantic. Other regions fared little better, except the US Gulf, where throughput was little changed from 2008. Losses for the Canadian Pacific were ameliorated by Prince Rupert’s skyrocketing growth. Mexico suffered double-digit declines despite solid gains for Lázaro Cárdenas and Salina Cruz’s emergence as a potentially significant market contender.
The majority of ports posted year-on-year volume declines, but there were notable exceptions. Among the latter were Port Manatee (+234%), Prince Rupert (+45.8%), Wilmington, NC (+14.9), Lázaro Cárdenas (+11.6%), and Tampa (+10.1%). The Canadian Great Lakes port of Hamilton completed its first full shipping season as a container handler.