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Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach volumes are mixed in August

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
September 18, 2012

With Peak Season, or at least the semblance of it underway, August volumes at the nation’s two largest ports—the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB)—were mixed in August.

POLB imports, which are primarily comprised of consumer goods, at 274,977 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) in August were up 2.9 percent year-over-year. This was ahead of July’s 261,233 TEU and behind June’s 280,525 TEU. Exports, which are primarily comprised of raw materials, increased 5.7 percent to 128,225 TEU. This was ahead of July exports at 124,574 TEU and behind June’s 133,649 TEU.

Total August volume at POLB at 545,445 TEU were up 1.4 percent annually. Total POLB volumes are down 4.6 percent on a year-to-date basis, due to economic weakness and cutbacks in ship calls by various niche operators at the end of 2011 and early 2012, said POLB.

POLB officials said that the “modest rise in August points to a slight recovery during peak season and the second half of the year.”

Total August volumes at the Port of Los Angeles dipped 2.3 percent to 706,669 TEU, which is in line with June and July’s 698,847 TEU and 726,375, respectively.
Imports fell 4.1 percent to 376,189 TEU, ahead of June’s 353,930 TEU and behind July’s 371,859 TEU. August exports at 164,819 TEU dipped 10.5 percent annually and were behind June’s 174,418 TEU and July’s 165,581.

POLA total loaded containers (not including empties) were at 560,421 TEU for a 6.2 percent decline. On a year-to-date total TEU at POLA—at 5,443,248—are up 5.11 percent. 

While the August numbers for these ports are close to recent months and are following seasonal trends, the verdict on Peak Season may be too early to tell at this point.

“We expect to see a little bit of a Peak Season, wrapping up in the latter part of August, through September and into early October,” said Ben Hackett, president and maritime and trade consultancy Hackett Associates. “It likely won’t be overly exciting, but it will be there.”

Hackett said the relatively flat POLA and POLB numbers were mostly flat overall.

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).

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