By Mark Edward Nero
Port of Los Angeles cargo traffic decreased by double digits in February 2017, a mere month after the port saw record container volumes, according to newly released data.
The timing of Lunar New Year observances in late January and early February played a role in the decline, as it resulted in a significant amount of cargo being shipped in January rather than the following month.
February container volumes of 625,381 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) decreased 12.4 percent compared to the record February 2016 volumes of 713,721 TEUs, which were 42 percent higher than 2015. Compared to the port’s most recent five-year average of February container volumes, February 2017 volumes were up 7.2 percent, data show.
“While volumes eased compared to the record cargo we saw last February, I’m pleased that we’ve seen year-over-year growth to start 2017,” Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement.
For the first two months of 2017 combined, Port of LA volumes increased 2.3 percent compared to the same period last year.
Cargo imports in February 2017 dropped 19.8 percent to 298,974 TEUs compared to the previous year, while exports increased 6.1 percent to 155,357 TEUs. Total loaded volumes of 454,332 TEUs fell 12.5 percent compared to the previous year, while empty containers slipped 12.1 percent to 171,048 TEUs.
For the fiscal year to date, POLA total cargo volumes are up 8.8 percent compared to the same eight-month period in FY 2016.
Current and historical POLA data is available at https://www.portoflosangeles.org/maritime/stats.asp