March 11, 2016 1:00 PM, EST
Los Angeles Cargo Rises 42% in February, Affected by 2015 Labor Slowdown
Lance Cunningham/Flickr

The Port of Los Angeles announced a 42% increase in cargo shipments handled during February, following a year after volumes were depressed by slowdowns and disruptions during dock worker contract negotiations.

The port announced 713,721 industry standard 20-foot container units, or TEUs, moved across the docks last month, which was the busiest February since the port was founded 109 years ago.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, negotiators for ocean carriers and terminal operators reached a tentative agreement late in February of 2015. Slowdowns gradually ended after a lengthy cargo backlog, and diversion of some cargo to the East and Gulf Coasts.

For the first two months of 2016, cargo at the nation’s largest port totaled 1.42 million TEU, or about 14% higbher than the same two months of 2014, when there was no cargo disruption.

“Back to back record months to start 2016 indicate consumer confidence in the U.S. economy and strong shipper confidence in our terminal and supply chain partners to deliver on speed and efficiency,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

Los Angeles imports increased 47% to 372,744 TEU. Exports increased by 11%.

The port’s statement also said last month’s cargo volume was helped by importers moving cargo in advance of Lunar New Year, which affected production during the month.

“The surge in February deliveries will result in softer import volumes in March. The relatively high value of the U.S. dollar continues to slow U.S. exports due to their relative higher costs abroad,” the Los Angeles statement said.