LA’s traffic crashes as coronavirus crisis accelerates

Los Angeles, California, USA - August 16, 2016:  Afternoon aerial view of Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbors in Southern California.

The Port of Los Angeles suffered a 22.9% drop in its TEU volumes in February year-on-year (YoY) as the coronavirus continues to have a substantial impact on operations.

In a statement, the Port said it also expected volumes in March to be low as production in China remains slow and called upon the world to work together to solve the crisis.

“While cargo volumes are important, the coronavirus is first and foremost a public health crisis that needs to be brought under control with the collaboration of governments and medical experts from around the world,” said Gene Seroka, the Port’s executive director.

“As factory production in China remains at low levels, we expect soft volumes in March,” Seroka added.

“Looking ahead to anticipated manufacturing improvements, we will need to return empty containers to Asia and push lingering US export boxes out swiftly.

“We’re actively working with our supply chain partners to be prepared for a cargo surge once production levels ramp up.”

Exports decreased 5.7% and imports dropped 22.5%. Empty containers declined 35% as the first two months of February declined by 13% compared to 2019.

The news of the Los Angeles’ decline follows a similar announcement from the Port of Long Beach, where traffic fell by 9.8% in February 2020, a story Port Technology International (PTI) reported on.

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