Friday, March 20, 2015

POLA Monthly Volumes Down in February

By Mark Edward Nero

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles fell more than 10 percent in February 2015 compared to the same period last year, according to newly released data. The port attributes the decline to terminal congestion and supply chain challenges occurring during several months of labor negotiations.

The labor issues were resolved for the most part on Feb. 20, when the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract.

The deal came too late to help drive up throughput numbers for the full month, however. Imports dropped 10.7 percent in February, falling from 284,812 TEUs in February 2014 to 254,225 TEUs last month. Also, exports declined 10.3 percent, from 146,925 TEUs in February 2014 to 131,806 TEUs in February 2015.

Combined, total loaded imports and exports fell 10.6 percent, from 431,738 TEUs in February 2014 to 386,031 TEUs in February 2015, according to data.

Factoring in empties, which fell nine percent, the overall February 2015 volume of 502,663 TEUs represented a decline of 10.2 percent from February 2014’s 559,786 TEUs.

“Cargo flow has improved since the end of February and throughout March,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “ILWU labor is back strong at our terminals.”

He also cited the Federal Maritime Commission’s late February approval of a working agreement between the adjoining Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, which he said is enabling the ports to convene stakeholders in the coming weeks to discuss additional solutions to the backlog.

For the calendar year-to-date, the port has seen 1.03 million containers, a 17 percent drop from the same two months in 2014. For the fiscal year-to-date, POLA terminals have seen 5.31 million TEUs, a 1.5 percent drop from the same eight months in FY 2014.

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