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Port of Los Angeles Enjoying Record Year: Backlog gone and imports up 3.5%

By August 25, 2022July 28th, 2023No Comments

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka is offering a simple message for shippers seeking capacity due to increased congestion at East Coast and Gulf ports: “Our terminals have capacity.”

In a year-over-year comparison, July’s figures reflect a a growth rate of 184.7% for intermodal cargo and 35.8% for dry and refrigerated cargo, The Port of Los Angeles processed an estimated 935,345 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in July, outpacing the previous record set in 2019 by 2.5%. The Port has set monthly records in five of seven months in 2022.

“Remarkably, we continue to move record amounts of cargo while working down the backlog of ships almost 90%, a huge accomplishment by all of our partners,” Seroka said at news briefing.

As an example of port capacity elsewhere, the Alabama Port Authority said that July was its busiest month ever for containerized cargo at the Port of Mobile. It broke 50,000 TEUs for the first time since container port operations began in 2008. It is on track to surpass 500,000 TEUs this year, Alabama officials said.

But diversion of port traffic elsewhere seems to have spurred California ports to operate more efficiently.

“Even with the current rail challenges, our marine terminals are more fluid than last year,” said Seroka.  He said that was due in part to a port optimizer data portal that allows stakeholders to “see around corners” and tackle problems before they arise.

The port’s cargo numbers have kept pace with 2021, its busiest year on record, with 6.35 million TEUs to date, Seroka said. The port director noted, however, that he expects imports to ease this month.