The Port of Los Angeles continues to see positive growth as it reports an increase in cargo volume for the third consecutive month as West Coast ports work to regain market share.
The port October processed a total of 725,775 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in October, marking a 7% improvement compared to the same month last year.
Loaded imports in October 2023 reached 372,455 TEUs, showing a significant increase of 11% compared to the previous year. Loaded exports surged 35% over 2022, coming in at 121,277 TEUs for the month. Empty containers experienced a slight decline, totaling 232,043 TEUs, down by 8% compared to last year.
Next door the Port of Long Beach reported even greater growth in October, with cargo volumes up by 15% from the previous year.
“Our terminal operators, labor, and other stakeholders have worked hard to earn cargo market share back over the last three months,” said Gene Seroka, the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles. Seroka further anticipates a strong month of November, as the port expects a final holiday push and warehouse replenishment.
Despite these efforts, combined with Panama Canal restrictions and an improved labor situation, West Coast ports have continued to lose market their share of imports to East and Gulf Coast ports, according to data from the Descartes Systems Group. Their November Global Shipping Report showed the top five East and Gulf Coast ports accounted for 45.1% of the total U.S. import container volumes in October, marking a 3.0% increase over September, while the top five West Coast ports saw their market share decrease to 39.6%, down by 3.7%. Overall, total U.S. container imports were up about 5% in October compared to the previous month and 4% year-over-year.
Looking at the overall performance for the year, the Port of Los Angeles has processed a total of 7,123,900 TEUs in the first ten months of 2023. Although this reflects a 16.6% decrease compared to the same period last year, the consistent months of growth indicate a positive trend leading up to the end of the year.
Seroka also announced the return of Zim Integrated Shipping Services, which will be relaunching an express service from South China directly to Los Angeles.
“We’re pleased to welcome back Zim and its eCommerce Express service back to the Port of Los Angeles,” Seroka said. “This is the fastest, most efficient route for trade with Asia.”
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