Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Ocean shipping: POLA/POLB see strong June volumes


The Port of Los Angeles adjoins the separate Port of Long Beach, employs over 16000 people, and is the busiest container port in the United States. Photo courtesy of Port of Los Angeles

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 15, 2010

Even though year-over-year comparisons were relatively easy, June volumes at the Ports of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) turned in strong performances.

POLB imports, which are primarily comprised of consumer goods, hit 262,053 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in June for a 27.0 percent annual gain. And exports, which are primarily comprised of raw materials, were up 1.8 percent to 116,112 TEU. Total POLB shipments-at 520,100 TEU-were up 25.8 percent compared to June 2009.

At the POLA imports-at 371,888 TEU-were up 32.26 percent year-over-year, and exports-at 154,558 TEU-were up 12.64 percent year-over-year. Total POLA shipments-at 526,446-were up 25.83 percent year-over-year.

In an interview with LM, POLA Director of Communications Phillip Sanfield said June was another solid month and added that for the first six months of 2009, the POLA is up 14.99 percent—at 3,663,699 TEU—year-over-year.

“We were down about 14 percent [YTD] at the same time last year,” said Sanfield.

“But the first have of this year has been solid, with June being exceptionally strong. It was the strongest June we have ever seen in terms of volume, including the heyday of 2006.”

While these numbers are encouraging, Sanfield said they must be viewed cautiously, as some of these volumes could be due to inventory replenishment. He added that POLA volumes have been up for four consecutive months heading into Peak Season, which has been dormant in recent years.

As for Peak Season, Sanfield is cautiously optimistic, noting there is likely to at least be some type of peak activity compared to last year, although how volumes grow over the next 90 days remains to be seen.

“We are seeing the month-to-month growth and hearing the same signals about retailers being cautious and employment numbers, housing, and credit….and that the second half of the year may not be as robust as the first half.”

The strong June performance at both ports represents an improving global trade environment. This was reflected in numbers released this week by the United States Department of Commerce, which revealed U.S. exports in May hit $152.3 billion, which was $3.5 billion more than April.

POLA Assistant Director of Communications Art Wong said in a recent interview that while there have been improvements in exports and imports in recent months, these numbers need to be viewed with caution.

“The numbers clearly show the worst is behind us-with the [trough] being 2009-and comparing this year with the same period last year, it is easy to show a little bit of improvement and make it look dramatic,” said Wong. “But it is not clear how much stronger the economy is…this year.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Slowing global trade and a bloated orderbook of large vessel capacity mean that container shipping is set for another three years of overcapacity and financial pain, according to the latest Container Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

The NRF is calling for 2015 holiday sales to see a 3.7 percent annual gain to $630.5 billion, which comfortably outpaces the ten-year average of 2.5 percent.

On the heels of announcing it plans to acquire freight transportation and logistics services provider Con-way Inc. for $3 billion, XPO Logistics may be considering selling off Con-way Truckload, the company’s truckload arm.

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has called on world leaders meeting at the United Nations this week to work together to find solutions to the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe

More than 20 U.S. port authority officials and their key staff, representing seaports from all four U.S. coasts, will gather on October 8 to meet with Congressional leadership to discuss the upcoming surface transportation bill and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation budget.


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA