Imports to Los Angeles, America’s largest port, plunged 17% in August

LA lost cargo to East, Gulf Coast ports — and Long Beach next door


Greg Miller, American Shpper

Freight Waves - September 15, 2022


The Port of Los Angeles, the highest-volume container gateway in America, is diverging from the nationwide trend. U.S. container imports remain close to record highs, yet imports to LA are falling double digits.


On Thursday, the Port of Los Angeles reported total throughput of 805,672 twenty-foot equivalent units in August, down 15.5% year on year (y/y). Imports came in at 404,313 TEUs, exports at 100,484 TEUs and empties at 300,875 TEUs.


Imports were down big, sinking 16.8% y/y and 16.7% compared to July.


It was the lowest import total in Los Angeles for any month since December, when volumes were suppressed by extreme landside congestion.


It was also the lowest import total in LA for the month of August since 2014, eight years ago, back when Barack Obama was president and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” topped the charts.


But last month’s import plunge in Los Angeles is not indicative of a countrywide trend. According to data from Descartes, U.S. imports in August were essentially flat...


Demand drivers of decline ...


Competitive drivers of decline ...


More LA volume weakness ahead ...


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