LA-Long Beach YOY Cargo Volumes Down in May, But Trending Up Month to Month

Cargo numbers are down year-over-year at the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports. File photo.

Cargo numbers may be down year over year at the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports, but both have also seen volumes increase in the last few months, a trend that port officials hope will continue through 2023.

According to new data released June 13, the Port of Los Angeles saw cargo numbers grow for three straight months, with a 60% spike since February. The port moved 779,140 TEUs in May, a 19% drop from May 2022. Loaded imports last month fell 18% to 409,150 TEUs year over year and loaded exports dropped 19% to 101,741 TEUs.

The port also moved 22% fewer empties last month than it did the same time a year ago.

“Even with improving volume, our terminals are a long way from working at full capacity,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said at a June 13 media briefing. “We’re starting to see more vessels headed across the Pacific to Los Angeles, an encouraging sign for the second half of the year.”

Meanwhile, the Port of Long Beach in May moved 14.9% fewer cargo year over year with 758,225 TEUs. Imports last month fell 17.2% to 361,661 TEUs while exports rose 8.1% to 127,870 TEUs. Empties in May fell by 20% to 268,695 TEUs, according to data released June 13.

Despite the drop, May was Long Beach’s busiest month this year and continues the port’s upward trend of cargo in the last three months. The port moved 15.6% more cargo in May than it did in April, which moved 8.6% more than March.

“At mid-year we’re starting to see signs that cargo volume is on the upswing, with our busiest month since August of last year,” Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Officer Mario Cordero said. “We look forward to more positive signs in the months ahead.”

By Karen Robes Meeks