Friday, February 27, 2015

LA Port Monthly Container Volumes Drop

By Mark Edward Nero

Container volumes at the Port of Los Angeles dropped a whopping 22.7 percent this past January compared to the same month last year, according to newly-released data. January 2015 cargo volumes totaled 529,427 20-foot equivalent units, compared to 685,549 TEUs in January 2014.

The port has blamed the decrease on a number of factors, including terminal congestion, protracted contract negotiations and other supply chain issues that have affected US West Coast ports for months.

Imports dropped 28 percent, from 360,036 TEUs in January 2014 to 259,206 TEUs in January 2015, according to the data, while exports declined 23 percent, from 161,938 TEUs in January 2014 to 124,365 TEUs in January 2015.

Combined, total loaded imports and exports fell 26.5 percent, from 521,975 TEUs in January 2014 to 383,571 TEUs in January 2015. Factoring in empties, which fell 10.8 percent, the overall January 2015 volume of 529,427 TEUs represented a 22.7 percent decline.

Earlier this month, the adjoining Port of Long Beach revealed that its monthly cargo volumes were down a total of 18.8 percent last month compared to January 2014, something it also partially blamed on labor unrest, an issue that was settled last week with a new five-year contract between the International Longshore Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association.

“The (cargo) numbers aren’t a surprise to us, and last week’s announcement of a tentative labor agreement between the (ILWU and PMA) is a major step forward in terms of getting our cargo volumes back on track,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a Feb. 26 statement. “We’re working with our stakeholders to develop short-term solutions that resolve our present cargo backlog, in addition to longer-term solutions that focus on achieving higher levels of operational efficiency –especially in terms of servicing the larger ships deployed through carrier alliances.”

Current and historical data container counts for the Port of Los Angeles are available at