Insight: 2015 US Port Performance


The Christmas season is almost upon us and with global trade in a turbulent period, PTI wants to explore the impact this has had on US imports in the year-to-date.

The Baltic Dry Index – an oft cited resource to monitor global trade – has recently fallen to historic lows of 504, compared to 1,296 in 2014, highlighting the current instability of global trade.

According to Zepol, now a Datamyne company, the Port of Los Angeles has had a mixed year for TEU performance, having seen its highest import TEU volumes in March, 2015 of more than 396,000 TEU, to its lowest in January at 254,000.

This low point can be attributed to the strikes which took place at US ports at the start of 2015, where a number of ports were shut down as a result of a dispute between the International Longshore Workers Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.

Despite this turbulent period, and a further slump in performance in April and May, the Port of Los Angeles saw imported volumes reach more than 360,000 in October, 2015.

This is significantly higher than the Port of Long Beach, which recorded import volumes of just over 295,000 TEU in the same period.

However, Long Beach recently recorded its busiest ever quarter with a total of two million TEU handled in Q3, 2015, which is a 14.8% rise over Q3, 2014, according to a Port of Long Beach release recently published by PTI.

If this performance continues, the Port of Long Beach would see a total of more than 7 million TEU pass through its port in 2015 – a figure which has currently been achieved twice in its history.

Total TEU volumes for the Port of Los Angeles reached more than 3.7 million imported TEU in the first 11 months of 2015, with Long Beach recording more than 3.2 million imported TEU.

The Port of New York’s busiest period was July, 2015, with more than 292,000 imported TEU handled.

The busiest period for total US import volumes in 2015 was August, having reached 1,862 million TEU, compared to 1,779 million in October, 2014, which was last year’s peak month.

Total US import volumes for the first 11 months of 2015 were more than 18.6 million TEU, which is an improvement when compared to the 17.7 million TEU handled in the same period in 2014.

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