US import demand balance continues eastward shift

US import demand balance shifts east

Ports on the US West Coast have witnessed a considerable drop in import shipments over the past year.

FourKites found that shippers have started to favour ports along the US East Coast as strikes and port congestion have plagued West Coast ports – like Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland.

Recent data from the Ports of LA and LB have also shown a significant fall in container numbers.

READ: Port of Oakland shuts as workers stage walkout

As of August 2021, US West Coast ports accounted for 47 per cent of import shipments compared to 53 per cent for the East Coast.

Over the past several months, this proportion has been shifting increasingly towards East Coast ports, with the West Coast only accounting for 38 per cent of imports compared to 62 per cent for the East Coast.

This is a 9 per cent drop in share over the past 14 months, and a 3 per cent point decrease month-over-month.

This follows reports of record port volumes in New York this year, and a decrease in ocean shipments from China to the US West Coast – as FourKites previously reported.

Supply chain issues are simmering down for the Port of Los Angeles, but negotiations over dockworkers’ wages are far from reaching a conclusion.

Responding to whether he sees a deal before year end, Port of LA Chief Executive, Gene Seroka, said that remains in question and a deal might not be reached for months.

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