Los Angeles Cargo Volumes Down 30.9%
America's busiest cargo port moved 49,568 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) in March, down 30.9% from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Los Angeles said on Wednesday. It was the lowest amount of monthly cargo moving through the Port of Los Angeles since February 2009.
March imports decreased 25.9% to 220,255 TEUs compared to the previous year. Exports decreased 23.8% to 121,146 TEUs. Empty containers declined 44.5% to 108,168 TEUs. In total, March volumes totaled 449,568 TEUs.
First quarter volumes decreased 18.5% compared to 2019.
“We’ve had two serious shocks to our supply chain system. First the trade war between the U.S. and China and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles. “With U.S. retailers and cargo owners scaling back orders, volumes are soft even though factories in China are beginning to produce more. Amidst this public health crisis, there will be uncertain months ahead in the global supply chain.”
The Port of Los Angeles, which remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, said its officials are in regular contact with terminal operators, longshore unions and other supply chain stakeholders to make sure that stakeholders are able to obtain the necessary supplies they need for a safe and clean work environment.
Los Angeles is also serving as the temporary homeport of the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy deployed to support COVID-19 response efforts.