POLA and POLB May volumes are mixed but solid
POLA said it processed 768,804 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in May, which is down 3% annually compared to May 2017’s record of 796,216 TEU. POLB May volumes shined, with the port saying its 687,427 TEU represents its highest-volume May ever recorded in the port’s history.
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POLA said it processed 768,804 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in May, which is down 3% annually compared to May 2017’s record of 796,216 TEU.
POLA imports were off 1.8% annually at 405,587 TEU, and exports fell less than 1% to 168,681 TEU. Empty containers dropped 9% to 194,537 TEU. On a year-to-date basis through May, total POLA volume is down 4.4% annually, with total imports and exports at 1,608,158 TEU and 678,048 TEU, respectively.
"Volumes have softened due to continued shuffling of alliance services in the San Pedro Bay,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka in a statement. “The Port remains focused on digitizing our value chain. Our aim is to introduce the GE Port Optimizer™ this summer with the support of our liner and terminal partners."
POLB May volumes shined, with the port saying its 687,427 TEU represents its highest-volume May ever recorded in the port’s history.
Imports headed up 7.3% to 361,056 TEU, and exports increased 142,412 TEU for a 19.9% annual increase. Empty containers fell 4.6% to 183,959 TEU.
Through May, total POLB volumes are up 14.6% at 3.2 million TEU.
“International trade continues to be a thriving part of the economy, and cargo continues to flow across our docks as we focus on delivering goods quickly, efficiently and at a good cost,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum in a statement. “We look forward to a robust peak season this summer and fall.”
KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Todd Fowler observed in a research note that May sequential trends for POLA and POLB were slightly ahead of seasonal variations, partially attributable to easier April comparisons following Asian port congestion and fluctuating concerns around trade tariffs and import bans.
“Additionally, volumes may be being impacted by some diversion of cargo to alternate ports to avoid congestion in Southern California,” he said. “Overall, we expect modest growth in import activity to continue to support a tight capacity environment and seasonal freight trends near term, and result in additional tightness in line with seasonal variations in coming months.”
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