Monthly Imports Down at U.S. West Coast Seaports, PMSA Data Shows

Imports arriving through U.S. West Coast seaports in May fell 4% from the same time a year ago, while U.S. East Coast ports saw an 8% uptick in the same time period, according to the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association’s latest West Coast Trade Report.

While year-over-year percentages dropped for U.S. West Coast ports, ports along the Pacific still processed 43,569 more imports in May than the nine U.S. East Coast ports monitored by PMSA.

Meanwhile, West Coast ports saw exports in May 5% from the same time a year ago, PMSA data show. Regarding trade with Asia, West Coast seaports saw import numbers dip from May 2021 to May 2022.

“The numbers mutely testify to the erosion of the USWC share of containerized imports from the other side of the Pacific, both in terms of tonnage and value,” according to the report.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach saw imports from Asia fall from 47.9% in May 2021 to 44.8% in May 2022. Imports heading from Asia to the Port of Oakland dipped from 4.3% in May 2021 to 4.1% in May 2022, while the Northwest Seaport Alliance (ports of Tacoma and Seattle) dropped from 7.1% in May 2021 to 6.2% in May 2022.

As for Asia-bound exports, U.S. West Coast seaports moved “a significantly higher share of the containerized tonnage heading across the Pacific than they had a year earlier, even if their share of the value of those exports declined,” according to PMSA data.

The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports saw exports to Asia rise from 33.6% in May 2021 to 37.6% in May 2022, data show.

Oakland also saw its Asia-destined exports improve, from 8.7% in May 2021 to 9.6% in May 2022. Meanwhile, NWSA saw its share of Asia-bound exports fall from 10.8% in May 2021 to 9.3% in May 2022.

By Pacific Maritime