by Risk calculated on 05/19/2023 15:03:00
Remarks: The expansion of the Panama Canal was completed in 2016 (As i noted several years ago), and some of the traffic that used the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach probably passes through the canal. This could impact TEUs on the West Coast.
Container traffic gives us an idea of the volume of goods exported and imported – and generally some clues about the trade ratio since ports in the Los Angeles area handle about 40% of the nation’s container port traffic.
The following graphs relate to incoming and outgoing traffic at the ports of Los Angeles And long beach in TEUs (TEUs: 20ft equivalent units or 20ft long cargo container).
To remove the strong seasonal component of inbound traffic, the first chart shows the 12-month moving average.
Click on the graphic to enlarge the image.
On a rolling 12-month basis, inbound traffic was down 2.4% in April compared to the rolling 12 months ending in March. Outbound traffic was down 0.4% compared to the rolling 12 months ending the previous month.
Usually, imports peak between July and October, as retailers import goods for the Christmas holiday, then decline sharply and peak in February or March, depending on the timing of Chinese New Year.
Imports fell 23% year-on-year in April and exports fell 5% year-on-year. The volume of containers unloaded last year was much higher due to all the ships waiting to be unloaded.
It is possible that exports have bottomed out after several years of decline (even before the pandemic).