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Thursday, Dec 7, 2023

Port of L.A. Sees Busiest Cargo Month Ever in Western Hemisphere

The Port of Los Angeles had the busiest month ever at a Western Hemisphere container port in October, officials announced Monday.

Cargo volumes at the port increased nearly 16 percent last month compared to the same period last year, officials said in a news release, citing data collected by the American Association of Port Authorities.

Total volumes registered at 814,574 TEUs, a unit equivalent to a 20-foot container, above the port’s previous record of 800,063 in October 2006.

The numbers seem to defy recent trends as the shipping industry has struggled with overcapacity and diminishing demand. However, unlike the neighboring Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles doesn’t rely heavily on the recently bankrupt Hanjin Shipping Co.

The South Korean shipper had been the seventh-largest cargo container mover in the world and was one of the most active shipping companies at the Port of Long Beach. That port hasn’t released its October cargo numbers yet, but it reported a 16.6 percent decrease in September following Hanjin’s Aug. 31 bankruptcy filing.

Together, the dual ports make up the largest port facility in the country, handling about 40 percent of U.S. container imports.

“We applaud our container terminals, labor, and all of the stakeholders in our supply chain that drove this record-breaking volume with speed, efficiency, and reliability,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement. “It’s encouraging to see that when cargo surges, we have the infrastructure, equipment, and human capital to keep the boxes moving.”

The Port of Los Angeles’ October imports increased 16.4 percent to 417,311 TEUs, exports jumped 23.3 percent to 166,406 TEUs, and the number of empty containers being returned to manufacturing sites in Asia and elsewhere rose 18.3 percent.

Total cargo volumes in the first 10 months of 2016 were at almost 7.2 million TEUs, which is a 5.25 percent rise over the same period in 2015.

Managing editor Paul Eakins can be reached at peakins@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @Pauleakins.

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