The Port of Los Angeles’ January throughput increased by 3.6% year-on-year (YoY) as US consumer demand continues to increase.
In a statement, the Port said it was the sixth consecutive month of YoY growth. In total it processed 835,516 TEU, with loaded imports reaching 437,609. Demand for empty containers in Asia heavily increased by 14.5% YoY, reaching 278,580 TEU.
Executive Director, Gene Seroka said, “All indications point toward a strong flow of imports over the next few months as consumers continue an unprecedented buying surge which began last summer.
“However, U.S. exports continue to lag, down 25 of the last 27 months. What we’re experiencing is one-way trade, which has created challenges for the entire supply chain.
The Port has seen considerable congestion since the summer of 2020 as traffic from China has increased to meet growing demand in the US for furniture and home equipment goods.
This has been felt at other US West Coast ports such as Long Beach and Oakland and raised suggestions that carriers may or might already be sending vessels to Pacific Northwest or the East Coast.
The congestion has led some industry experts, such as the National Retail Federation (NRF) to predict record YoY traffic in the US over the coming months, without relief until the summer of 2021 at least.