Port of Los Angeles posts strong February numbers
March 14, 2013
Container volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) were strong in February, according to data released by the port today.
Total volume—at 614,948 TEU—was up 16.99 percent annually. Imports for the month—at 318,547 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) TEU—increased 25.23 percent, and exports—at 156,690 TEU—were down 4.88 percent. Empty containers—at 139,711 TEU—were up 31.10 percent.
And for the first two months of 2013, overall container volumes have increased 4.87 percent—or 1,283,959 TEUs—compared to the same period in 2011—or 1,224,368 TEU.
POLA officials said that this increase was partially attributed to a surge in imports prior to the closure of factories for the Chinese New Year.
POLA Director of Media Relations Phillip Sanfield told LM that February’s strong performance was somewhat surprising in that while POLA volumes had been trending up over a three-month period between November and January, the port had been anticipating softer volumes after that, due to a service shift from POLA to its neighboring Port of Long Beach, when POLB added a new service line between ocean carriers MSC and CMA CGM that moved from POLA to POLB.
“The way in which the Chinese New Year fell, starting on February 10, and factories closing right before that and getting ahead of the game because they are closing down,” he said. “And it still takes ten-to-15 days for the goods to get here so we had all of the cargo from pre-Chinese New Year coming in January. In 2012, the Chinese New Year was January 23 so the pre-Chinese New Year cargo was spread out over January and February. With most of the 2013 pre-Chinese New Year cargo coming in February, we saw the benefits of that with the numbers.”
As for March volumes, Sanfield said there is some concern for how things will play out, as goods were not being produced in China from February 10 to about a week after. These goods would typically hit U.S. ports in March, but that may not be the case this year, he said.
The housing rebound in the U.S. should serve as a growth driver for POLA in the coming months, said Sanfield.
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