Cargo containers pile up at a marine terminal at the Port of Los Angeles.

Cargo containers piled up at a marine terminal at the Port of Los Angeles in March 2022. Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles

Port of Los Angeles Sees April Volumes Dip, But Record Pace Continues

Mike Schuler
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May 18, 2022

The Port of Los Angeles has reported its second-busiest April on record last month amid continuing efforts to clear cargo from marine terminals.

April 2022 throughput came in at 887,357 TEUs, down about 6.5% compared to last year’s record-setting April. Four months in to 2022, the Port of Los Angeles has processed more than 3.5 million TEUs, which is 1% ahead of last year’s record pace.

“We’ve had a remarkably strong start to the year and cargo continues to flow into Los Angeles despite some of the COVID lockdowns in China,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “While there are impacts being seen from sub-assembly to manufacturing through delivery, transpacific trade has held steady.”

Overall April volumes were second only to 2021, when the Port of Los Angeles moved a whopping 946,966 TEUs.

April 2022 loaded imports reached 456,670 TEUs compared to the previous year, a decrease of 6.8% but 17% higher than the five-year April average of 390,000 TEUs.

Loaded exports came in at 99,878 TEUs, a 12.7% decrease compared to the same period last year. Exports have declined 38 of the last 42 months in Los Angeles. Empty containers reached 330,810 TEUs, down 3.4% compared to last year.

“Looking forward, while we don’t expect any abrupt changes, the situation in China may lead to a lull in volume with a fairly quick bounceback once the lockdowns end,” added Seroka.

The top ten ports in the United States saw April container imports climb 7.1%, compared with the same month of 2021, suggesting US consumers’ appetite for spending continues unabated, according to Blue Alpha Capital. Data further shows that the coastal shift by shippers from the west coast to east ports appears to be gaining fresh momentum.

The Port of Long Beach, Los Angeles’ neighbor at the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, continued its record-setting streak in April, moving 820,718 TEUs last month for a 10% year-over-year increase. In release its monthly cargo numbers, the Port of Long Beach warned of an expected new wave of imports in the coming months as China opens up from COVID-19 lockdowns.

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