While seeing modest declines, August volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) remained strong, according to data respectively issued by the ports this week.
Total August POLA volume—at an estimated 806,000 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units)—was of 15% compared to August 2021. Imports—at an estimated 404,000 TEU—were down 17%, and exports—at an estimated 100,000 TEU—were down 1%. Empty containers—at an estimated 301,000 TEU—fell 18%.
“Some goods that usually arrive in August the for the fall and winter season shipped earlier to make sure they reached their destination in time,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said at a news briefing this week. “Additionally, inflationary concerns and elevated inventory levels have made some retailers and e-commerce sellers more cautious. We’ve been able to nearly eliminate the backlog of ships waiting to enter the port by 90% compared to earlier this year. We’ve got capacity on our terminals and the ability to handle cargo coming in more efficiently than last holiday season.”
Through the first eight months of 2022, total POLA volume came in at an estimated 7.2 million TEU, marking a 1.6% annual decline.
POLB data: Total August POLB volume came in at 806,490 TEU, just 0.1%, or 74 TEU, below August 2021, which is the highest-volume August in the port’s history.
Imports—at 384,530 TEU—were up 1.6%, to 121,408 TEU, and exports—at 121,408—headed up 1.6%. Empty containers rose 7.2%, to 301,001 TEU.
Through the first eight months of 2022, POLB volume is up 4% annually, to 6,600,560 TEU.
The Port delayed the start of a “Container Dwell Fee” that would charge ocean carriers for containers that remain too long on the docks. Still, the San Pedro Bay ports—Long Beach and Los Angeles combined—have seen a 50% decline in aging cargo on the docks since the program was announced on Oct. 25.
“We’re making great strides in reducing the number of ships queuing to enter the San Pedro Bay ports complex and quickly moving imports and empty containers out of the terminals,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are collaborating with stakeholders to provide more information, more space and more flexibility across the supply chain.”
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