The Port of Los Angeles handled 650,977 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in March, an increase of 12.7 percent compared to 2018. For the first quarter of 2019, container volumes grew 4.6 percent.
“Despite global trade uncertainties, we experienced strong first quarter growth,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I commend our supply chain stakeholders who have processed record amounts of cargo in recent months and we anticipate greater efficiency improvement with the Port Optimizer that was rolled out in the first quarter. Retailers are forecasting an uptick in summer consumer demand and we are ready for those boxes.”
As reported in SCMR, GE’ Transportation’s Port Optimizer software is designed to enhance cargo flow as participating terminal operators and other stakeholders receive much improved advance notice of cargo arrival.
This information is coordinated with data on the availability of equipment, labor and other resources needed to move that cargo through the supply chain
March 2019 imports increased 12.4 percent to 297,187 TEUs compared to the previous year. Exports decreased 2.9 percent to 158,924 TEUs. Empty containers increased 30.2 percent to 194,866 TEUs.
For the first three months of 2019, Port volumes have increased 4.6 percent compared to the same period last year.
Descartes, a consultancy and software-as-a-service provider for logistics management, also recently broke down leading import commodities fueling growth at Los Angles along with the top countries of origin.
Brendan McCahill, senior vice president of trade data content at Descartes, told SCMR in an interview that while LA and its sister port, Long Beach, are still leading the pack of U.S. ocean cargo gateways, they can’t afford to relax.
“It seems that some growth in trade actually may soon be directed to the east coast via the expanded Panama Canal,” he said. “We also see post Panamax vessels making a string via Suez, delivering more volume via the east coast.”
Along with this, Descartes sees investment in expansion of facilities on the east coast with more land available.
“Finally, it’s a demographic fact that the population center of the country and those living east of it, can be serviced via DCs because they are closer to east coast ports,” says McCahill. “Due to the benefit of geography, trade growth seems to be gravitating to east coast ports as it is measured by growth.”
About the Author
Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]
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