June 12, 2017

Report: Los Angeles and Norfolk show big jumps in ocean container volumes

Greater use of port automation, digital terminal practices drives gains, Descartes report says.

By DC Velocity Staff

The ports of Los Angeles and Norfolk showed large jumps in import volumes in 2016 as they took advantage of increased port automation and digitized terminal practices to overcome economic uncertainty under the new Trump Administration, according to a report released today.

The Port of Los Angeles showed a notable 9.3 percent-jump in volumes handled, as the nation's largest port overcame the congestion caused by recent labor union disputes and brought its automated TraPac Terminal online, the 2016 "U.S. Port Report" from Descartes Datamyne said.

Los Angeles increased its imports of twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) boxes from 4.1 million in 2015 to 4.5 million in 2016. The total value of products imported through the port increased to $240.8 billion in 2016, a 0.8-percent gain over 2015 levels. Sorted by Harmonized System (HS) codes, the top product categories imported into Los Angeles by total value were passenger motor vehicles and toys.

The Port of Norfolk, meanwhile, showed a 10-percent rise over its 2015 totals due to rising traffic from the opening of the expanded Panama Canal. Ranked as the nation's fifth-busiest port, the Port of Norfolk had the country's biggest percentage increase in volume, importing close to 1.2 million TEUs in 2016. Led by the HS categories of printers, their parts, and accessories and of medicaments, the value of those goods rose 2.2 percent year over year to reach $44.2 billion worth of goods in 2016, the report found.

Overall, the country's busiest ports by TEU volumes in 2016 were:

1. Los Angeles
2. Long Beach
3. New York and New Jersey
4. Savannah
5. Norfolk
6. Tacoma
7. Charleston
8. Houston
9. Oakland
10. Seattle

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