Imports from Asia Down at Major U.S. West Coast Ports: PMSA Report

Aerial view of a tugboat alongside a containership at the Port of Los Angeles. File photo via POLA.

The five busiest seaports on the West Coast saw their imports from Asia decrease in April, according to latest West Coast Trade Report from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

“On the import side, USWC shares dipped across the board,” the PMSA explained in a statement.

At the adjoining Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports, imports fell a combined 2% from April 2021 to April 2022 according to PMSA data. Meanwhile at the Port of Oakland, imports from Asia fell 1.5% from April 2021 to April 2022. Also, the Northwest Seaport Alliance (the combined shipping operations of the Seattle and Tacoma seaports) saw a 1.1% drop between April 2021 and April 2022.

When smaller ports are included, West Coast seaports’ share of Asian imports in April fell from 60% to 54.8% year over year, according to PMSA data.

As for Asia-bound exports, only Los Angeles and Long Beach ports saw an increase last month.

Los Angeles and Long Beach saw exports to Asia rise 6.9% between April 2021 and April 2022. Oakland saw its Asia-bound cargo dip 0.6% from April 2021 to this past April, and the NWSA’s export numbers to Asia fell 1.3% during the same time period.

“The improvement in the San Pedro Bay ports’ share of export value was not enough to overcome the declines at Oakland and at the big Washington State ports,” the PMSA report stated. “As a result, the overall USWC share of the value of U.S. containerized exports headed to East Asia dipped to 55.5% from 57.4% a year earlier.”

By Pacific Maritime Magazine