Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach post solid October volumes

Port of Los Angeles Volumes. POLA handled 748,762 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units). While this tally marks the port’s third-best volume output for October, it was down 8.1% annually when compared to October 2016, the port’s best-ever October.

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October volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) were solid, according to recent data released by the ports.

POLA handled 748,762 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units). While this tally marks the port’s third-best volume output for October, it was down 8.1% annually when compared to October 2016, the port’s best-ever October. POLA added that the fourth quarter of 2016 handled additional cargo following the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy.

October imports for POLA fell 8.1% annually to 383,385 TEU, with exports down 13.3% to 144,209 TEU. Empties dropped 4.2% at 221,167 TEU.

On a year-to-date basis through October, POLA volumes are up 6.4% annually at 7,639,756 TEU. This current pace has the port on track to set an all-time annual record of 9 million TEU, which would top 2016’s 8.8 million TEU and have the port be the first one in the Western Hemisphere to handle 9 million TEU in a year.

POLB October volumes saw a 15% annual increase to 669,218 TEU, for its busiest October ever, even though it stands as the ports fourth-busiest month of 2017 behind July, September, and August.

POLB October imports headed up 14.3% to 339,013 TEU with exports off 0.5% at 126,150 TEU, and empties up 28.9% to 204,055 TEU.

Through October, POLB volumes are up 9.5% annually at 6,234,930 TEU.

“October used to be the industry’s busiest month of the year, with retailers preparing for Christmas,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero in a statement. “Now, with other popular shopping seasons like back-to-school, Halloween and Black Friday, ocean carriers are spreading shipments across more months to maximize the services we have developed to serve them.”

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Todd Fowler noted in a research note that while prior-year comparisons for POLA and POLB on a cumulative basis are somewhat distorted by the Hanjin Shipping Co. bankruptcy, the combined September/October y/y increase of ~7% is directly in line with year-to-date trends, as volumes remain strong reflecting restocking tailwinds and expectations for a favorable holiday peak. Fowler added that on a full-year basis, his firm anticipates volumes will increase mid to high single digits when considering historical sequential trends, though year-over-year gains will likely moderate in November and December reflecting more challenging comparisons.


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