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East Coast, Texas Ports Gain as Retailers Skirt Pacific Gridlock

Move over LA-Long Beach — Houston and Savannah’s ports are snagging some of your cargo business

Containers cranes at the Port of Charleston in South Carolina.

Containers cranes at the Port of Charleston in South Carolina.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Supply-chain obstacles are forcing US retailers to rewire their shipping routes. The early winners are East and Gulf Coast ports, which are taking business from rivals out West at the fastest pace in at least two decades. Some of the gains, retail executives say, might be permanent.

The number of inbound containers arriving at eastern ports rose about 9% in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2021 and volumes through Houston — the Gulf Coast’s leading container port — were up 22%, according to the National Retail Federation. Imports through the West Coast were down 0.1%.