Port Capacity Metrics

Many factors influence port capacity, which is a measure of the maximum throughput that a port and its terminals can handle over a given time period, in tons, twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), or other units, such as barrels of liquid bulk (e.g., crude petroleum) or number of vehicles handled. Maximum throughput, or capacity, can be set by physical constraints, including the physical size (acreage) of terminals, length of berths, depth of access channels, and the amount and type of cargo handling equipment (e.g., container cranes). Port capacity can also be influenced by operational factors not currently measured in this program (e.g., gate hours) and economic factors, including labor availability and cost. These factors are typically proprietary, making them less likely to be available for public use. Port features that influence capacity are summarized in the table below.