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Containership berthed at the Port of Los Angeles

Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles

Container Volumes at Port of Los Angeles Rise for Second Straight Month, But Pace Lagging Pre-Pandemic

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2061
May 19, 2023

Container volumes at the Port of Los Angeles showed improvement for the second consecutive month in April, although they continue to lag behind pre-pandemic levels.

In April, the Port of Los Angeles processed 688,110 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 22% decrease compared to the same period last year when the port had its second-busiest April on record, surpassed only by April 2021.

Through the first four months of this year, the Port of Los Angeles has handled a total of 2,525,204 TEUs, marking a 29% decline compared to last year’s record-setting pace that continued through the first half. Nevertheless, the year-to-date number is 14% below the levels seen in 2019 before the pandemic hit. In fact, one would need to go back to 2015 to find a slower start to the year through April.

“A cooling global economy, warehouses laden with aging inventory and prolonged West Coast labor negotiations have all contributed to a slowdown in trade,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “If economic conditions improve and we get a labor deal in place, that will help improve volume the second half of the year. We are prepared for the next cargo surge, whenever it comes.”

Breaking down the April 2023 numbers, loaded imports reached 343,689 TEUs, representing a 25% decrease compared to the previous year. Loaded exports amounted to 88,202 TEUs, showing a 12% decline from last year. Additionally, empty containers landed at 256,220 TEUs, experiencing a 23% year-over-year drop.

Comparing March 2023 to February 2023, the Port of Los Angeles witnessed a significant 28% increase in cargo volumes. Compared to March figures, cargo volumes in April rose by 10%.

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