POLA, POLB post best-ever May volumes

May volumes for both the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) were better than just pretty good. The reason for that is that each port, which collectively account for roughly 40% of United States-bound imports, posted their busiest May’s ever.

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May volumes for both the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) were better than just pretty good. The reason for that is that each port, which collectively account for roughly 40% of United States-bound imports, posted their busiest May’s ever.

POLA May volume was up 3.4% annually at 796,216 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), with volume through the first five months of 2017 up 8.5% at 3,751,516 TEU.

Imports were up 3.1% to 413,021 TEU, and exports headed up 4.4% to 169,639 TEU. Empty containers saw a 3.1% annual gain.

“We continue to see balanced year-over-year growth both on the import and export side of our operations,” said Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, in a statement. “With nearly one million jobs-one in nine jobs in the region-tied to San Pedro Bay port complex operations, we continue to focus on supply chain efficiency, optimization and sustainability.”

POLB volumes were up 1.2% annually at 648,287 TEU, topping May 2016 as the second-highest May in the port’s history.

Imports were up 1.8% at 336,594 TEU, and exports were down 14.2% to 118,786 TEU. Empties were up 1.2% to 192,908, with the port having its best month since September 2015.

"Last May was a great month, so we're encouraged that we did even better this year," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero in a statement. "Our strong belief is that if we continue to build the most modern facilities of any port in the United States and provide the best service, the customers will come."

Year-to-date, POLB volumes are up 4.1% at 2,792,681 TEU.

“May trends were slightly ahead of our expectations when considering the challenging prior year comparison, supporting our view inventory de-stocking has partially subsided, potentially aiding freight volumes going forward,” Todd Fowler, KBCM analyst wrote in a research note. “Looking ahead, we anticipate largely stable trends in June and July before volumes peak in August, consistent with normal seasonality. On a full-year basis, we anticipate volumes to increase mid-single digits when considering historical sequential trends, supported by leaner inventories.”


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