Top Two US Ports Have Mixed Results for August Container Traffic

Tim Rue/Bloomberg News

The top two ports in the United States reported mixed results for container traffic during August before the Hanjin Shipping  Co. bankruptcy, according to figures released Sept. 15.

The Port of Los Angeles, No. 1 in the country by volume, reported that August was its strongest month since 2006 and the second-busiest month in the port’s 109-year history.

Total imports increased 0.9% to 411,366 industry-standard 20-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs. Exports increased 6.3% year-over-year to 153,005 TEUs. Overall total loaded volume grew 2.3%, and empty containers increased 0.2% to 234,661 TEUs. 

“Strong numbers on both our import and export cargo during the industry’s peak season indicates confidence in our ability to meet supply chain expectations,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said.

Meanwhile, at nearby Port of Long Beach, exports jumped 14.8% to 159,247 TEUs, but imports dropped 8.9% to 321,625 compared with August 2015. Empties accounted for 160,157 containers, 22.5% fewer than last August.

Through August, Long Beach terminals have moved 4.6 million TEUs, a 2.9% decline, while Los Angeles volume increased 4.3% to 5.6 million TEUs compared with the same eight-month period in 2015.

Earlier in the week, Virginia Port Authority and South Carolina Ports Authority reported record results for August. Virginia Port Authority handled 235,511 TEUs, a 7% jump from the same month in 2015. Port of Charleston had a 5.6% increase in containers handled, to 180,153 compared with 170,528 last August.