Port of Los Angeles predicts no let-up in US import boom

Port of Los Angeles predicts no let-up in import boom

The Port of Los Angeles has predicted the pandemic-induced import surge will continue as its TEU traffic grew by 27% year-on-year (YoY) in June 2021 and surpassed 10.9 million TEU in FY 2020-2021.

The consumer spending behind the boom in traffic is unlikely to slow down said Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles, during a 14 July media briefing.

“Key economic indicators all suggest that US consumer spending will remain strong through the remainder of 2021,” Seroka said.

“Even as Americans return to airline travel, vacations and in-person events, retail sales and e-commerce remain robust.”

Ports on the US West Coast have seen considerable increases in traffic after exports from China resumed in earlier in 2021 and the subsequent congestion has exposed the fragility of the US domestic supply chain.

Seroka said the Port is now seeing seasonal goods, such as “fall fashion” and “back-to-school items” arriving at the docks as retailers are shipping year-end holiday products early.

“All signs point to a robust second half of the year, which is good news for the nearly 1 million residents in the region who have jobs tied to the San Pedro Bay port complex,” Seroka explained.

Empty containers climbed to 312,600 TEU, a YoY jump of 47% due to the heavy demand in Asia.

The total June 2021 volume of 876,430 TEU surpassed the previous June 2019 record by 15%. The fiscal year close of 10,879,383 TEU is 12% higher than the previous 12-month record, when the Port handled 9,688,252 TEUs in FY 2018-19.

Six months into the 2021 calendar year, overall cargo volume is 5,427,359 TEU, an increase of 44% compared to 2020.

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