Box volume at America’s largest container port complex fell 5.2% year on year in April as Los Angeles and Long Beach continued to work through congestion backlogs.
After surging 63.2% year on year in March, total imports at the two ports fell 2.2% to 645,516 teu compared with April 2014. Exports plummeted 11.3% to 283,301 teu during the same period.
The Port of Los Angeles pointed out that the decline was also the result of comparisons to particularly strong volumes a year ago, when importers shipped early to anticipate delays associated with dockworker negotiations in the summer.
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“Additionally, there were vessel alliance uncertainties this April as shipping lines continued to return to their transpacific rotations,” the port noted.
The only increase for the month was at Long Beach, where imports rose 7.3% to 317, 376 teu. The biggest decline was seen in exports out of Los Angeles that fell 15.8% to 145,655 teu.
Year-to-date total volumes at Los Angeles and Long Beach are down 5.3% and 0.3%, respectively, through April.
Despite the declines, a forecast by Global Port Tracker, a partnership between the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, has projected an 18.9% jump in imports at the port complex during the six months between April and September compared with the same period last year.