February 27, 2020
According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro is projecting a 25% drop in container volumes this month, as the economic impact of the coronavirus spreads across shipping operations and foreign supply chain partners.
The report notes container ship operators have canceled 40 sailings at the Port of Los Angeles between Feb. 11 and April 1, mostly for vessels coming from China, said Gene Seroka, port executive director. That amounts to a little more than one-quarter of the overall number of ships that would typically call at the port during that time, he continued.
“The first quarter of this year, I project that we’re going to be down 15% year-over-year, with a heavy bit of that related to the coronavirus,” Seroka stated. The decline has accelerated, he said, with February cargo volumes expected to be down 25% from the same month a year ago, as the epidemic’s impact ripples through supply chains.
Los Angeles handled the equivalent of more than 705,000 containers last February, so the projected decline would mean about 176,000 fewer containers moving through the port this month. About 9.3 million boxes passed through the port in 2019.
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