How Covid-19 is Impacting Maritime Trade

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This chart shows a decline in US and global oil markets portrayed by tankers calling US ports. Activity is normal until week 13, when tanker traffic in US ports begins to decline. Numbers drop from nearly 900 ship calls per week to 750 ship calls per week, and the downward trend is expected to continue as many reports reference “demand suppression” around the COVID-19 crisis.

This affects both exports of US crude, refined products, and imports of foreign crude to the US as shown in this graph:

Sources showing reducing US oil exports

Tanker traffic in US Gulf Ports

Tanker traffic in Houston and the three busiest oil storage locations


This graph shows the consistent reduction in tanker activity at main US tanker ports

(Tanker port traffic data is in the file Port Events Data Story_Tankers Globally.xslx)

Data counts unique vessels recognized in ports per week using Spire Maritime AIS Data. Shown is also the average gross tonnage and average deadweight tonnes (dwt – cargo capacity) of the ships calling at the port.

This chart shows the sharp decline in passenger/cruise ships at ports. The sharpest decline occurs in week 12 where port traffic decreased in some cases up to 90%:

Major cruise ships port and events

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