Preliminary numbers that the Port of Los Angeles posted indicate a 5.8% drop in twenty-foot equivalent unit liftings for April against the same period a year ago, marking the second- busiest April in the port’s history.
While finalized numbers have yet to be released, the port estimated volumes would total 890,000 TEU for April.
“A bit lighter compared to last year’s torrid pace, but still strong numbers by any measure,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka at a May 6 briefing.
Imports totaled 459,918 TEU, down 6.2% on the year.
Empty container moves, while registering a 2% decrease against the year, remained well above pre-pandemic averages at 334,852 TEU.
Soaring empty exports are indicative of ongoing national trade challenges, Seroka said, adding that efforts are needed to boost exports and ensure accessibility to US export shippers.
Finalized cargo metrics will be released as soon as final April data is available, the port said in a May 6 statement.
Cargo is still finding its way out of ports throughout central China,” Seroka said. “So far, there’s been no dramatic change in number of vessels leaving China since lockdowns six weeks ago.”
The port projects May and June volumes to come in at the mid- to upper 800,000 TEU range.
“While conditions could change. I don’t foresee a bust coming in Trans-Pacific trade,” Seroka said. “More likely, we may see a lull in volume with a fairly quick bounceback when the lockdowns end. If this lockdown goes deeper into May or June, these are issues we’re going to have to grapple with.”
Platts Container Rate 13—North Asia-to-West Coast North America—was assessed at $8,500/FEU May 6, up $400 from the start of the week.