Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Imports Up, Exports Down at U.S. West Coast Ports

Ports along the U.S. West Coast moved 38.9% of all container imports in April, an increase from the 37.5% moved during the same month last year and up from the 36.8% moved in April 2019, according to new data from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

West Coast ports also moved 34.7% of loaded export tonnage that came through the U.S.in April, a decrease from 37.1% in April 2020 and from 36.5% in April 2019.

Much of April’s container traffic was handled by the five busiest ports on the West Coast – Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma – where 95.1% of West Coast imports and 96.3% of loaded exports passed through, according to PMSA data.

The Big Five handles most of West Coast’s trade with East Asia, moving 98.1% of imports and 98.3% of exports. However, those numbers are down from two years ago when the Big Five handled 99% of imports and 99.8% of exports from East Asia in April 2019.

When all West Coast ports are included, the data for April shows that they moved 56.7% of the nation’s imports from Asia, a slight jump from 54.6% in April 2020 and from 56.1% from the same month in 2019.

For loaded exports heading to Asia, West Coast ports moved 54.4% of those containers in April, a drop from 57.6% in April 2020 and 58.1% from April 2019.