West Coast ports report big volume, import increases in April

LOS ANGELES – The Port of Los Angeles, America’s biggest port, reported a ninth consecutive month of year-over-year growth, with 770,337 container units handled in April. That’s 12% higher than last April.

In the first four months of the year, the port processed around 25% more containers than in the start of last year, bringing the total to more than 3.1 million. That number surpasses the port’s running five-year average by 5%, which includes the record volumes seen over the pandemic.

Imports in April came in at 416,929 TEUs, a 21% increase from 2023. Loaded exports increased by 51%.

“All our vital operational statistics at the Port of Los Angeles are at or better than pre-COVID levels,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka at a media briefing this week. “I’ve been urging shippers to take advantage of our fluid terminals and excess capacity. We’re ready to upscale on demand as we move into the second half of 2024.”

The Port of Long Beach reported similar gains. It processed more than 750,000 TEUs for the month, a 14.4% increase. Imports, at 364,665 TEUs, rose 16.3%. Exports though declined by 19.9%. For the first four months of the year, the port has processed 2.75 million TEUs, a 15.8% increase over last year.

“Imports are steadily climbing as we continue to work with industry partners to rebuild our market share,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “We are strengthening our competitiveness with our brand of operational excellence, customer service and ongoing infrastructure investments that will keep cargo moving efficiently well into the future.”

Daniel Hackett of Hackett Associates joined L.A. port director Seroka at the recent news briefing. He predicted volumes to remain strong through peak shipping season, though warned that year-over-year growth might be lower in the second half of the year.

See also:

  • Ocean container rates rise 30% in two weeks
  • Imports rise 64% at Port of L.A. in March

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