Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach post impressive November volumes

Total November POLA volume came in at 924,225 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), which set a new record for monthly volumes in the port’s 110-year history, topping November 2016’s 877,564 TEU, and were up 5.3% annually. POLB November volume was up 14.7% annually at 612,659 TEU, with the first 11 months of 2017 coming in at 6,847,589 for a 10% annual gain. In calendar year 2016, POLB handled 6,775,171 TEU.

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The trend of bustling activity at United States ports, especially on the imports side, was on full display, based on November volume tallies issued this week by the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB).

Total November POLA volume came in at 924,225 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), which set a new record for monthly volumes in the port’s 110-year history, topping November 2016’s 877,564 TEU, and were up 5.3% annually.

POLA November imports were up 6.1% annually to 463,690 TEU, and loaded exports rose 0.3% to 177,913 TEU. Empty containers headed up 7.4% at 282,621 TEU.

“Four vessels calling in Los Angeles each discharged and loaded more than 23,000 TEUs in November, all close to October’s 24,308 TEU record set last month in Los Angeles,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re proud to be partnering with our labor and supply-chain stakeholders to move these record-breaking cargo levels with efficiency, productivity and extraordinary customer service.”

On a year-to-date basis through November, POLA volumes are up 6.3% annually at 8,63,982 TEU, with imports at 4,330,596 TEU and exports at 1,747,068 TEU.

POLB also reported a very strong November, with port officials saying that total 2017 volumes through November have already surpassed its total 2016 volume output.

November volume was up 14.7% annually at 612,659 TEU, with the first 11 months of 2017 coming in at 6,847,589 for a 10% annual gain. In calendar year 2016, POLB handled 6,775,171 TEU.

Aided by what it described as “retailers making a last dash to stock goods for the holidays,” POLB November imports saw an 18% annual increase to 319,210 TEU, with exports up 4.5% to 126,364 TEU, and empties up 17% to 167,085 TEU.

“U.S. consumers are confident and the economy has been strong,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum in a statement. “Retailers have been stocking goods as a result and we are nearing cargo levels we have not seen since before the 2008 recession.”

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Todd Fowler observed in a research note that November import volumes exhibited notable strength, which should translate into favorable domestic surface transportation volumes through year-end, and possibly early 2018.

“Looking ahead, we expect imports to moderate sequentially in December, though somewhat contingent on holiday sales activity and the related impact on restocking in early 2018,” he wrote. On a full-year basis for 2017, we anticipate volumes will increase mid to high-single digits when considering historical sequential trends.” 


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