Cargo volume through the Port of Los Angeles fell 18.5% year-over-year in the first quarter and was down nearly 31% in March, port officials said today.
The port moved 449,568 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in March to reach its lowest monthly level since February 2009. Port officials cited the Covid-19 crisis and ongoing trade wars for the steep declines.
“We’ve had two serious shocks to our supply chain system. First the trade war between the U.S. and China and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said in a statement announcing the quarterly statistics. “With U.S. retailers and cargo owners scaling back orders, volumes are soft even though factories in China are beginning to produce more. Amidst this public health crisis, there will be uncertain months ahead in the global supply chain.”
March imports decreased 25.9% to 220,255 TEUs compared to the previous year. Exports decreased 23.8% to 121,146 TEUs. Empty containers declined 44.5% to 108,168 TEUs.