Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Port of LA Container Volumes Slip in August

For only the second time this calendar year, the Port of Los Angeles saw an overall decrease in container volumes in a given month compared to the same month last year, according to newly-released data.

Despite August being the start of the peak shipping season, traffic was down about two percent at port terminals last month compared to August 2011. Los Angeles experienced nearly across-the-board declines in all categories last month, including the number of loaded inbound and loaded outbound containers.

Imports decreased 4.1 percent, from 376,189 TEUs in August 2011 to 360,762 TEUs this August. Also, exports decreased 10.5 percent, falling from 184,231 TEUs in August 2011 to 164,819 TEUs in August 2012.

Combined, total loaded imports and exports for August decreased 6.2 percent, from 560,421 TEUs last August to 525,581 TEUs in August 2012. Factoring in empties, which decreased 11.2 percent year over year, overall August 2012 volumes – 706,669 TEUs – represented a drop of 2.3 percent compared to August 2011’s 723,170 TEUs.

The only other month so far in 2012 where container volumes were down compared with the same month last year was February, when the port moved just 525,653 TEUs, a 5.27 percent decrease from February 2011.

For the first seven months of 2012, overall container volumes have increased 5.1 percent at Los Angeles, reaching a total of 5.4 million TEUs, compared to the same period in 2011, during which the port moved 5.1 million TEUs.

So far during the port’s current fiscal year, which began in July, traffic is up about 1.5 percent at Los Angeles compared to 2011. The port has shipped 1.43 million containers so far during the two-month period, an increase of over 21,500 from the 1.41 million that were moved during July and August of 2011.