Port of Los Angeles Posts Third Busiest Month in History

A container ship being unloaded at night at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo: POLA.

The Port of Los Angeles recorded its third best month ever, handling 967,900 TEUs last month, according to new data released by the port on June 14.

Only May 2021 and October 2020 were busier at the port.

“Retailers replenished inventory throughout the spring and now we’ll see a transition to back-to-school goods, fall fashion and some early year-end holiday products,” Port Executive Director Gene Seroka remarked. “While American consumers have become more cost conscious, overall demand remains strong.”

While imports in May dipped 6.8% year over year, the amount was 21% more than what the port handled in the month of May on average in the last five years, POLA data show.

Meanwhile, loaded exports rose 14.4% in May year over year with 125,656 TEUs, the most exports handled by Los Angeles since November 2020, according to port figures. Empties in May fell 6.6% from the same time last year to 342,285 TEUs.

So far, the POLA has moved more than 4.5 million TEUs this year, matching the record-setting pace of 2021, the port said.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles has reached a new productivity milestone on its docks, Seroka said, stating that an average of “12,000 TEUs were discharged and loaded back on to every container vessel in May. That eclipsed our own previous best-in-the-business record of 11,300 TEUs recorded last summer.”

By Karen Robes Meeks