After record-breaking cargo volume in 2021 and the first half of 2022, the import surge at the Port of Los Angeles slowed in August.
North America's busiest cargo port said it handled an estimated 806,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in August, approximately 15% less than a year ago.
"Some goods that usually arrive in August the for the fall and winter season shipped earlier to make sure they reached their destination in time," Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles executive director said in a news briefing.
"Additionally, inflationary concerns and elevated inventory levels have made some retailers and e-commerce sellers more cautious."
Port of LA saw August loaded imports reach an estimated 404,000 TEUs compared to the previous year, a decrease of about 17%.
Loaded exports reached an estimated 100,000 TEUs, a 1% drop compared to last August and empty containers landed at an estimated 301,000 TEUs, an 18% decline compared to the previous year.
Eight months into 2022, the Port of Los Angeles has moved an estimated 7.2 million TEUs, about 1.6% down from last year’s record pace.
Meanwhile, the Port of LA chief noted improvements in cargo movements at the port — as some shipping lines shifted to the East Coast, although Seroka said this move is "temporary."
There was also a recorded drop in the number of vessels waiting outside the San Pedro Bay has fallen to 11.
"We've been able to nearly eliminate the backlog of ships waiting to enter the port by 90% compared to earlier this year," Seroka told a press briefing.
"We've got capacity on our terminals and the ability to handle cargo coming in more efficiently than last holiday season."