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Port of Los Angeles cargo volumes rise 19% YoY in March

Container cranes stand idle at the Port of Los Angeles. The Port of Los Angeles processed 743,417 total TEUs in March.

Posted on April 22, 2024

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles rose 19% year over year to 743,417 total TEUs in March, the eighth consecutive month of YoY growth.

“Moving into April and the second quarter, I expect robust cargo flow to continue here,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a media briefing on Wednesday. “A strong job market and continued consumer spending, along with our ability to handle additional volume, will help drive cargo to Los Angeles in the coming months.”

Loaded imports grew 19% YoY, cooling off from the 64% surge the port saw in February.

On the exports side, March was the West Coast port’s best month since January 2020, Seroka said. Loaded exports came in at 144,718 total TEUs, a 47% increase YoY.

Cargo volumes by the numbers

Container volumes processed at the Port of Los Angeles in March 2024

“Currently, we bring in 2.6 import boxes for every export. That’s a tremendous improvement over 2021 when we hit a trade imbalance of 6.2 imports to every single export,” Seroka said. The goal of the port is to boost American exports and get closer to a 2-1 ratio, he added.

Despite April historically being a “slack season,” the port expects it to be a busy month with total TEUs anticipated to exceed 700,000, Seroka said.

U.S. import volumes are expected to rise and reach 2 million total TEUs in May across the country’s top 12 ports, according to the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. This comes despite shippers uncertainty sparked by multiple global trade disruptions.


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