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Containership berthed at the Port of Los Angeles

Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles

Port of Los Angeles Marks Return to Cargo Volume Growth

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2768
September 15, 2023

The Port of Los Angeles saw a 3% increase in cargo volumes in August compared to the same period last year, marking the port’s first monthly year-over-year increase in 13 months.

Loaded imports increased by 7% and loaded exports increased by 22%, while empty containers declined by 10%.

“August was a very solid month with increases both on the import and export sides of our business,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka told journalists at a media briefing. “Overall, global trade has eased this year and we expect that trend to continue in the coming months. Operationally, Los Angeles stands ready with capacity we’re prepared to scale on demand.”

The recent ratification of a six-year contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association is expected to restore stability and confidence to customers.

“With this contract in effect through 2028, you can continue to count on our longshore workers and terminal operators to keep cargo moving through the nation’s busiest port,” Seroka said. “When we are operating on all cylinders like we are right now, there’s no better choice for cargo than the Port of Los Angeles.”

The Port of Los Angeles’ August performance compares to the more than 15% YoY decline in total cargo volumes next door at the Port of Long Beach. You may recall, last year the Port of Los Angeles started to feel the pinch of shrinking import volumes in August, a few months earlier than the Port of Long Beach, which reported similar volumes in August 2022 than it did in August 2021—thanks largely to an increase in empty containers being shipped overseas. In fact, in August 2022, the Port of Long Beach achieved the rare feat of actually beating the Port of Los Angeles in terms of total volume by about 1,000 TEUs.

Eight months into 2023, the Port of Los Angeles has now processed 5,649,686 TEUs, 21% less than the same period last year. For comparison, the Port of Long Beach has processed just under 5 million TEUs YTD through August, down 24.4% from the same period last year.

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