Containerized traffic at the Port of Los Angeles increased more than 5 percent year-over- year in January, as a ramp-up of Asian manufacturing ahead of the annual Chinese New Year celebration boosted exports.
Imports increased 5.3 percent and exports were up 5.9 percent compared to January 2011 at the nation’s largest container port. Total container volume, including empties and all loaded containers, increased 5.8 percent.
The port’s container volume in February should be lacklustre as factories in Asia slowly reboot from the lunar New Year celebration. Shipping lines usually cancel some weekly sailings during this period because cargo volumes are low. February is traditionally the slowest month of the year for imports.
Exports, however, should continue to increase, peaking in March. The winter months are the peak months for U.S. containerized exports.
Total container volume in Los Angeles in calendar year 2011 increased 2 percent compared to 2010, and port analysts project continued low single-digit growth in 2012. Los Angeles in 2011 handled 7.9 million 20-foot container units, down 7 percent from the 8.5 million TEUs recorded in the peak year of 2007.