Calculated risk: Port of Los Angeles traffic: decreased in August

by Calculated risk on 9/22/2022 06:33:00 PM

Notes: The Panama Canal expansion was completed in 2016 (as I noted a few years ago), and some of the traffic that used the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports will likely pass through the canal. This may affect TEUs on the West Coast.

Container traffic gives us an idea of ​​how much cargo is being exported and imported—usually a few hints about the trade report because Los Angeles area ports handle about 40% of the country’s container port traffic.

The following charts are for incoming and outgoing traffic at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot shipping container).

To remove the strong seasonal component of incoming visits, the first graph displays the 12-month rolling average.

Click on the chart for a larger picture.

On a rolling 12-month basis, incoming traffic was down 1.0% in August compared to the twelve months ended July. Outbound traffic increased by 0.1% compared to the 12 rolling month ended in the previous month.

The second graph is the monthly data (with a strong seasonal pattern for imports).

LA Port Traffic DistrictImports usually peak in July-October as retailers import goods for the Christmas holidays, then decline sharply and decline in February or March depending on the timing of Chinese New Year.

Imports fell 12% year-on-year in August, while exports were up 1% year-on-year.

It is possible that exports have bottomed out after falling for several years (even before the pandemic).

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