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Los Angeles port import volume drops 17% in Aug

Early arrival of holiday goods, economic concerns begin to slow record pace.

Los Angeles port import volume drops 17% in Aug
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After record-breaking cargo volume in the first half of 2022, import surge at the Port of Los Angeles slowed in August.

August 2022 loaded imports reached an estimated 404,000 TEUs compared to the previous year, a decrease of about 17 percent, according to an official statement. "Loaded exports reached an estimated 100,000 TEUs. Empty containers landed at an estimated 301,000 TEUs, an 18 percent decline compared to last year."

The port handled an estimated 806,000 TEUs in August, approximately 15 percent less than the same period last year.

(Credit: Port of Los Angeles)

"Some goods that usually arrive in August for the fall and winter season shipped earlier to make sure they reached their destination in time," Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles said at a news briefing. "Additionally, inflationary concerns and elevated inventory levels have made some retailers and e-commerce sellers more cautious.

"We've been able to nearly eliminate the backlog of ships waiting to enter the port by 90 percent compared to earlier this year. We've got capacity on our terminals and the ability to handle cargo coming in more efficiently than last holiday season."

For the first eight months of 2022, the Port of Los Angeles moved an estimated 7.2 million TEUs, about 1.6 percent down from last year.

In 2021, the port facilitated $294 billion in trade and handled a total of 10.7 million container units, the busiest calendar year in the port's 115-year history, the statement said.

Freight rates drop sharply
Drewry's composite World Container Index declined 8 percent to $4,941.91 per FEU this week, the 29th consecutive weekly decrease, and down 52 percent compared with the same week last year.


Freight rates on Shanghai–Los Angeles dropped 11 percent, or $530, to $4,252 per FEU. Spot rates on Shanghai–Rotterdam fell 10 percent, or $764, to $6,671 per FEU.

Drewry expects the World Container Index to decrease in the next few weeks.

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