Cargo volume through the Port of Los Angeles rose 3.6% in January, marking the sixth straight month of year-over-year increases, port officials said this week.
The port processed 835,516 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) during the month, driven by strong imports and consumer spending. Port officials said they expect the flow of imports to continue in the months ahead, but they also noted that exports are lagging.
“All indications point toward a strong flow of imports over the next few months as consumers continue an unprecedented buying surge, which began last summer,” Port of Los Angeles Director Gene Seroka said in a statement Wednesday. “However, U.S. exports continue to lag, down 25 of the last 27 months. What we’re experiencing is one-way trade, which has created challenges for the entire supply chain."
January 2021 loaded imports reached 437,609 TEUs compared to January 2020. Loaded exports fell nearly 20% to 119,327 TEUs. Empty containers, heavily in demand in Asia, increased nearly 15% compared to January 2020, reaching 278,580 TEUs, officials said.
In other port news, officials in South Carolina welcomed six hybrid rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes to the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal, which is slated to open at the end of March. The RTG cranes are the final pieces of cargo-handling equipment for the new terminal, and they join 19 RTGs already on site, officials said. The 25 cranes will move and stack cargo boxes around the 47-acre container yard.
“This is a very exciting delivery for SC Ports as we now have all the major cargo-handling equipment on the site,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said in a statement this week. “The Leatherman Terminal’s impressive new equipment will provide efficient, reliable service to our customers.”