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Ports of LA and Long Beach see 18% container volume growth in Jan

Photo: YouTube screenshot Gene Seroka Executive Director of the Port of LA
Gene Seroka, Port of LA, speaking at Pacific Merchant Shipping Association’s seventh annual “State of the Port” event
The US West Coast gateway ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach saw a surge in container volumes in January 2023 as retailers restocked inventory ahead the Lunar New Year shutdown in China.

The Port of LA reported that it handled 855,652 teu in January this year up 18% on the same month in 2023.

Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka cited two reasons for the strong opening month to 2024.

“First, cargo owners have been replenishing inventories and moving goods at a fast clip ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which will slow production in Asia,” he said.

“Second, consumer spending and mostly strong economic data continue to accelerate the American economy.” Seroka said last season’s holiday sales grew nearly 4%, with strong job growth and other key indicators trending in a positive direction.”

January 2024 loaded imports for the port of LA were 441,763 teu in January, up 19% compared to the previous year while Loaded exports came in at 126,554 teu, an increase of 23% compared to last year.

It was a similar picture at the Port of Long Beach with a 17.5% increase in January volumes year-on-year to handle 674,015 teu.

"Retailers stocked their warehouses in January ahead of the slower import activity we typically see during Lunar New Year celebrations," said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. "We are ready to grow our volumes and hope to see continued growth through 2024 as we gradually recapture market share."

Imports at the Port of Long Beach in January increased 23.5% to 325,339 teu and exports were down 18.1% to 86,525 teu.