Disparity in SoCal Port Performance Continues - Global Trade Magazine
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  November 16th, 2016 | Written by

Disparity in SoCal Port Performance Continues

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  • LA volumes increased 16 percent to 814,574 TEUs in October.
  • Port of Los Angeles recorded best month ever for western hemisphere container port.
  • POLB export containers dipped of 1.2% last month, while import boxes and empties fell 3.7% and 13.8%.

The Port of Los Angeles continued to shatter records for container volumes in October while its neighboring port on San Pedro Bay, the port of Long Beach, reported disappointing results.

This disparity in port performance has become evident over the last several months and appears to be continuing.

The Port of Los Angeles claims its October was the best month ever for a western hemisphere container port, citing data from the American Association of Port Authorities, while October container volumes were down 6.2 percent at the Port of Long Beach compared to the same month last year.

The port of Long Beach blamed the shortfall on the continuing fallout from the Hanjin bankruptcy.

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles increased nearly 16 percent in October compared to the same period last year. Total volumes registered at 814,574 TEUs, eclipsing the previous record of 800,063 TEUs in October 2006.

“It’s encouraging to see that when cargo surges, we have the infrastructure, equipment and human capital to keep the boxes moving,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.

October imports increased 16.4 percent to 417,311 TEUs at Los angeles while exports jumped 23.3 percent to 166,406 TEUs. Along with a 18.3 percent surge in empty containers, overall October container volumes were 814,574 TEUs.

With total cargo volumes through the first 10 months of 2016 at 7,182,682 TEUs, it represents an increase of 5.25 percent compared to the same period in 2015.

Meanwhile, across the bay, 581,808 TEUs moved through docks of the Port of Long Beach last month, representing dips of 1.2 percent in export containers and 3.7 percent in import boxes. Export TEUS were 126,770 and imports were 296,711. Empty containers experienced the largest drop of 13.8 percent to 158,327 boxes.

Port of Long Beach officials noted the harbor’s last October was the best in the previous eight years, and came during a string of six consecutive months of cargo growth to end 2015.

A major factor affecting the port’s volume was the Hanjin bankruptcy, port officials said. In 2015, Hanjin Shipping containers accounted for approximately 12.3 percent of the port’s total containerized volume. Port leaders recently acted to clear a backlog of empty containers related to the Hanjin bankruptcy, freeing a significant number of chassis to speed the efficient flow of cargo through the Southern California supply chain.

For the calendar year through October, Port of Long Beach TEUs trail the 2015 total by 4.8 percent.

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