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Containership berthed at the Port of Los Angeles

Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles

Port of Los Angeles Reports Increase in September Cargo Volumes

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1404
October 23, 2023

The Port of Los Angeles has announced a rise in cargo volumes for the month of September, following in the footsteps of its neighboring Port of Long Beach.

The Port of Los Angeles on Monday reported handling 748,440 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in September, representing a 5.4% improvement compared to the same period in 2022. Notably, imports saw a significant increase of 14%, while exports experienced a remarkable jump of 55%.

This marks the second consecutive month of year-over-year growth for the Port of Los Angeles.

Executive Director Gene Seroka seemed happy with the results, stating, “September was another good month, with imports up 14% and exports jumping 55%. Exports are trending up, and that’s good news for the U.S. economy as narrowing the trade gap has a positive impact. It’s worth noting that export jobs typically offer higher wages compared to other sectors.”

Seroka also highlighted the positive impact of a long-term dockworker contract reached in June and has since been ratified, which has led to more cargo being shifted back to the West Coast.

“The table is set to scale up as demand increases,” Seroka said.

Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation, shared insights into retail trends for the upcoming holiday season during the Port of Los Angeles’ monthly media briefing.

“Retailers have been hard at work getting holiday inventories in place to provide consumers with great products, competitive prices and convenience at every opportunity,” Shay said. “As we gear up for the holiday season, we expect moderate growth to continue as consumers focus on value and household priorities.”

In September 2023, loaded imports at the Port of Los Angeles reached 392,608 TEUs for a 14% increase compared to the previous year. Loaded exports showed even stronger growth, reaching 120,635 TEUs, a remarkable 55% increase compared to 2022. The port noted that this marks the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year export gains.

On the other hand, empty containers totaled 235,197 TEUs, representing an 18.5% decline compared to the previous year. Overall, September volumes at the Port of Los Angeles amounted to 748,440 TEUs, reflecting a 5.4% increase compared to the same month last year.

For the first nine months of 2023, the Port of Los Angeles processed a total of 6,398,126 TEUs, showing an 18.6% decrease compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the Port of Long Beach last week reported a record-breaking September, with 829,429 TEUs, marking an 11.8% increase compared to the same period last year. Import volumes experienced significant growth, rising by 19.3% to reach 408,926 TEUs.

The gains come exactly one year after the pandemic-fueled growth in U.S. import volumes finally ran out of steam as retailers brought in holiday merchandise early to beat rising inflation and supply chain disruptions that were prevalent during the COVID-19 era.

According to the NRF’s Global Port Tracker, U.S. import cargo volumes have already peaked this year, putting 2023 imports on track to hit 22.1 million TEUs, a 13.5% decline compared to 2022.

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