The Port of Los Angeles, the nation's busiest seaport, said yesterday that January container volumes fell 2.2 percent from January 2017 levels, but that it still reported its second-busiest January activity on record.
The port handled 808,728 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month, trailing only the January 2017 record of 826,640 TEUs. The port said that last month's totals are much higher than its most recent five-year average of 683,003 TEUs. It is the seventh time in the port's 111-year history that it has eclipsed the 800,000 TEU mark, it added.
Historically, strong January volumes are largely due to retail stores replenishing their inventories after the holidays, and to ships calling ahead of the Lunar New Year, when goods movement from Asia dramatically slows down. This year, Lunar New Year will begin this Saturday, and will run for about two weeks. Imports last month rose 1.8 percent year over year to 422,831 TEUs. Exports fell 7.6 percent to 150,035 TEUs, while empty containers declined 5.2 percent to 235,861 TEUs, the port said