LA Port Traffic Declined in September

Notes: The expansion to the Panama Canal was completed in 2016 (As I noted a few years ago), and some of the traffic that used the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is probably going through the canal. This might be impacting TEUs on the West Coast.

Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported - and usually some hints about the trade report since LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation’s container port traffic.

The following graphs are for inbound and outbound traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container).

To remove the strong seasonal component for inbound traffic, the first graph shows the rolling 12-month average.


Does this mean the long wait times to unload at west coast ports is down? Didn’t they have as many as 40 ships waiting in line.

So deliveries for the holidays should be on time this year? Good news for many businesses with empty shelves last year. Hot selling merchandise could not be replaced. Air freight an expensive alternative. Much freight diverted to other ports. More trucking to distribution centers. We hope an end to a messy era. Time to catch up and improve.

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