LA Ports Still Clogged With Cargo Imports

LA Ports Still Clogged With Cargo Imports
The Port of Los Angeles processed 954,377 TEUs of cargo in August.

With some 60 container cargo ships idling at the entrance of the port complex last week, traffic congestion in the San Pedro Bay shows no signs of letting up.

The Port of Los Angeles processed 954,377 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo last month, about the same as in August 2020 and a 10.8% increase from 861,080 TEUs it moved during the same period in 2019.

Imports reached 485,672 TEUs, a 6% decrease compared to August 2020.
The cargo volume for the first eight months of the year at the port added up to 7.27 million TEUs, an increase of 30.3% compared to the same period in 2020.

In September, the port is expecting about 930,000 TEUs, compared to about 880,000 last year. October figures to be busy too. Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka put next month’s forecast at 950,000 TEUs.

“For the full year we’re now estimating 10.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units, and if achieved, that would be a 14% increase over 2018 — which was our best calendar year performance in the course of the 114-year history,” Seroka said.

Exports, however, continue their downward slide. They decreased 22.9% to 101,292 TEUs while the volume of empty containers climbed to 367,413 TEUs, a 17% uptick. Exports have been down 30 of the last 34 months.

“We must get our exporters back in the game,” Seroka said. “We’ve made some very solid recommendations to the Biden administration, including creating the right incentives to start turning around these numbers quickly.”

The Port of Long Beach processed 807,704 TEUs last month, up 11.3% from the same month in 2020 and its best August on record. Imports were up 11.7% to 407,426 TEUs while exports decreased 5.3% to 109,951. The volume of empty containers headed back overseas jumped 19.7% to 280,794 TEUs.

“It’s peak season now, but we’re likely to see continued cargo growth well into 2022,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said.

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