THE Port of Los Angeles lifted 5.4 per cent more containers in January year on year to 852,449 TEU, making it the best January in the port's history and making it the seventh consecutive month it has handled more than 800,000 TEU.
The Port of Long Beach January volume, at 657,286 TEU, was off 0.1 per cent annually compared to January 2018, which is the port's highest all-time level for January.
Imports were off 0.3 per cent to 323,838 TEU, and exports dipped 2.7 per cent to 117,288 TEU. Empty containers headed up 1.6 per cent to 216,160 TEU.
"It's encouraging to see these healthy volumes to start the year," said Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero.
"As long as the economy is performing well, we expect our container trade to mirror it. Regardless, the port will continue to focus on delivering operational excellence, working with ocean carriers, terminals, truckers, labour, cargo owners and all of our many stakeholders."
Research from global trade intelligence firm Panjiva noted that combined port volumes were up 0.8 per cent annually, noting that this low cumulative gain may reflect the impact of ongoing congestion at the ports, due, in part, to a shortage of warehousing capacity, which may "be taking a toll on the ports' potential to deliver exports.
January 2019 imports increased 1.7 per cent to 429,923 TEU compared to the previous year. Exports decreased 3.4 per cent to 144,993 TEU while empties were up 17.7 per cent to 277,534 TEU.