an overhead view of port of los angeles docks

Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles

October Imports at Port of Los Angeles Plunge to Lowest Level Since 2009

Mike Schuler
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November 17, 2022

Imports through the Port of Los Angeles crashed by nearly a third in October to the lowest monthly level in more than a decade.

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles started to slow in August after 25 months of record-breaking imports fueled by the pandemic. October is now the third month of double-digit declining imports, following September’s 27% decline and August’s 16% drop in imported volumes.

Overall volumes in October came in at 678,429 TEUs, down 25% from 2021.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said shifting cargo to the East and Gulf coasts, an early peak shipping season, and a drop off of durable goods purchases were to blame for the lower volumes.

“With cargo owners bringing goods in early this year, our peak season was in June and July instead of September and October,” said Seroka. “Additionally, cargo has shifted away from the West Coast as some shippers await the conclusion of labor contract negotiations. We’ll do everything in our power to get that cargo back because the best route between Asia and the United States is straight through the Port of Los Angeles.”

October 2022 loaded imports reached 336,307 TEUs, down 28% compared to the previous year. It was the slowest month for imports since May 2020 and the lowest October volume since 2009.

Loaded exports came in at 89,722 TEUs, a decline of 8.7% compared to last October. Empty containers landed at 252,401 TEUs, a 25% year-over-year decline.

During the first 10 months of 2022, the Port of Los Angeles has processed 8,542,944 TEUs, about 6% down from last year’s record pace.

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