Port of L.A. has busiest January on record

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Port of Los Angeles has been major choke point in the global supply chain.
Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles processed 865,595 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in January, a 3.6% increase compared to last year. It was the Port’s busiest January in its 115-year history and a new milestone for a Western Hemisphere port.

“Many of the key data points that track the number of containers moving off our docks – and how quickly they depart – have improved significantly in recent weeks,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Our record-breaking January reflects the great efforts of our longshore workers, truckers and terminal operators as we continue to focus on additional operational efficiencies in the months ahead.”   Seroka announced the January volume during a wide-ranging virtual media briefing, where he also discussed gains in efficiencies, operational challenges and plans to improve the Port Optimizer.

For a media briefing on the Port of L.A., please watch the following video. It runs about 40 minutes, but is worth watching. The briefing begins with an update and overview that runs about 10 minutes, followed by questions from the press that fills the remaining 30 minutes. Obviously, since this has been taped, there is not an opportunity to ask questions.

January 2022 loaded imports reached 427,208 TEUs compared to the previous year, a slight decline of 2.4%.  Loaded exports came in at 100,185 TEUs, a 16% decrease compared to the same period last year.  Exports have now declined 35 of the last 39 months in Los Angeles.   Empty containers climbed to 338,202 TEUs, a jump of 21.4% compared to last year due to the continued heavy demand in Asia.   Current and historical cargo data, including fiscal year-end totals, are available here.   North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $259 billion in trade during 2020. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. The Port of Los Angeles has remained open with all terminals operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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