March 18, 2019
Import volumes at two of the major U.S. ports dropped in February, reversing a surge of shipping trade in recent months that was driven by strong consumer demand and a push to beat new trans-Pacific tariffs. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reported that container imports declined a combined 10.2% last month from the same time last year.
In February 2019, the ports handled 651,180 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) in imports, a figure that was down nearly 75,000 containers from February 2018.
Overall, the Port of L.A. moved 705,306 TEU’s (imports and exports) in February 2019. And while that was the third busiest February at the port, it represents a 2.7% decrease compared to last year’s record-setting February. Imports dropped 9.1% to 348,316 TEUs in February 2019 compared to the previous year. Exports decreased 9.5% to 142,554 TEUs.
Port of Los Angeles’ Gene Seroka says, “After the busiest seven months in the history of our port, the anticipated ease in cargo volume provides an opportunity for us to regroup with our stakeholders. With an uneven trade flow, we will be closely evaluating next steps for enhancing supply chain efficiencies.”
Meanwhile, terminals at sister port Long Beach moved 596,616 20-foot TEUs overall last month, a 9.8% decrease compared to February 2018. Imports dropped 11.5% to 302,865 TEUs, while exports declined 19.6%, to 105,287 TEUs.
Long Beach officials said a lull in shipping connected to the Lunar New Year, and a record-shattering month a year ago, combined to drive February cargo numbers down. The result was still the second-busiest February in the Port’s 108-year history.
*Photo Courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles
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