Stacked containers are shown as ships unload their cargo at the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Port of Los Angeles Reports Cargo Increase in January

Mike Schuler
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February 17, 2022

The Port of Los Angeles has reported processing 865,595 TEU in January, making for a 3.6% increase compared to one year ago.

The January volume marks the first year-over-year monthly increase since September as congestion at the nation’s top container port swelled during the peak holiday shipping season.

The increase in throughput can be attributed primarily to a 21.4% year-over-year jump in the number empty containers handled due to the continued heavy demand in Asia. Overall, the port handled 338,202 TEUs worth of empty containers last month.

January’s loaded imports reached 427,208 TEUs compared to the previous year, for a slight decline of 2.4%. Loaded exports came in at 100,185 TEUs, a 16% decrease compared to the same period last year. Exports have now declined 35 of the last 39 months in Los Angeles.

“Many of the key data points that track the number of containers moving off our docks – and how quickly they depart – have improved significantly in recent weeks,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Our record-breaking January reflects the great efforts of our longshore workers, truckers and terminal operators as we continue to focus on additional operational efficiencies in the months ahead.”

The Port of Los Angeles ended 2021 handling a record of nearly 10.7 million TEU despite year-over-year monthly declines in four of the last five months of the year (the exception being in August).

According to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, the containership backup outside the ports of Los Angeles and Los Beach reached a record 109 ships on January 9, 2022, but has since fallen to 76.

As of today, the number of empty containers at terminals and off-dock depots stands at 64,366, down 3% since November 15, 2022. Meanwhile, the total number of import containers stands at 48,163, a 49% decline since late October. The number includes 9,507 containers that have dwelled 9 days or more.

January volumes at the Port of Long Beach, Los Angeles’ neighbor at the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, rose 4.8% last month to 800,943 TEU.

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