The Port of Los Angeles had the best February in its 115-year history, Executive Director Gene Seroka said Wednesday.
Volume topped 857,000 container units during the month, Seroka said in an online briefing. Repositioning empty containers back to Asia continued at record levels.
Despite rising prices, elevated levels of imports are expected this spring but the new COVID-19 outbreak in China is being watched closely, Seroka said.
Exports, however, continue to suffer, showing more than a 5.5% year-over-year decline.
“Exports have now dropped 36 of the last 40 months at the Port of Los Angeles,” he said.
Addressing vessel backlogs, Seroka said there were 44 ships in the queue Wednesday for the San Pedro Bay ports, which includes the Port of LA — the nation’s busiest — and the neighboring Port of Long Beach.
“That’s down 60% from a high of 109 vessels just back in January,” he said.
The improvement is the combined result of the increased fluidity of cargo movement as well as the decline in shipments during the Lunar New Year in Asia, Seroka said. Many Asian companies shut down during the Lunar New Year period.
Overall, the year is off to a good start but it will be difficult to match the record-breaking 2021 numbers, he said.