Shipping containers. Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles.
Shipping containers. Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles.

Container volumes at the Port of Los Angeles were up 4.6 percent last month compared with container traffic from October 2013, port officials said Monday.

Authorities said 715,682 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units, or TEUs, move through port terminals last month, up from the previous October’s 684,207 TEUs.

The port also saw a 10.7 percent increase in empty containers.

With empty containers taken out of the mix, the combined volume for loaded import and export containers registers a 2.6 percent increase from 515,705 TEUs last October to 529,119 TEUs in the same period this year.
Imports alone were up 7.2 percent, from 346,137 TEUs last year to 370,938 TEUs last month, but exports slumped by 6.7 percent from 169,568 TEUs to 158,181 TEUs.

Port officials attributed the decline in exports to weaker overseas demand and a stronger U.S. dollar.

Cargo volumes were up 7.5 percent so far this year, with 7 million TEUs moved in the first 10 months of the year, compared with 6.5 million TEUs during the same period last year.

Port officials welcome the news of increased traffic at the ports, but said it has also led to congestion problems, with multiple vessels waiting days to get into the ports, when the there had typically been no wait time.

“While increasing cargo volume is our objective, the congestion circumstances in recent months have caused delays for cargo owners that absolutely must and will be resolved,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “We continue working with our customers and logistics partners to do everything possible to relieve the current situation and design solutions that will better enable the supply chain in the future.”

Port officials said they are responding to the congestion issues by adjusting the process for distributing chassis.

—City News Service

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