Total cargo volume through the port of Los Angeles was up sequentially in April, but down compared to year-ago levels, port officials said this week. Volume is down 15.5% so far this year, officials also said.
The port moved 688, 999 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in April, a 53% increase over March but a 6.45% decrease compared to April 2019. Officials cited global economic conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason for the year-over-year decline and said the outlook calls for “significantly lower volumes” over the next few months.
“Given the unique circumstances of a trade war and pandemic, April volumes are better than expected,” the port’s Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement announcing the results. “As we move deeper into the remainder of the second quarter, we’re forecasting significantly lower volumes, particularly on the import side. There are at least 28 voided vessel sailings. Retailer orders are soft as consumer purchasing and confidence has dropped precipitously.”
April loaded imports rose 2.6% to 370,111 TEUs compared to year-ago levels. Loaded exports fell 16.2% to 130,321 TEUs, and empty containers declined 14.4% to 188,567. The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the pandemic, officials said.