October was a down month for the Port of Los Angeles, with containerized imports declining 1.1 percent from October 2011 and export loads dropping 7.1 percent.
Total loaded containers were down 3.2 percent.
The volume of empty containers increased 15.66 percent. Most of those were empties being returned to Asia. When all loaded and empty container volumes are combined, Los Angeles was able to eke out a gain of 0.82 percent compared to October 2011.
On a month-over-month basis, it appears that September will be the peak month in 2012 for imports. Loaded import containers dropped to 364,882 20-foot-equivalent units in October from 385,250 in September.
Exports in the trans-Pacific trade run counter-cyclical to imports. Exports have been increasing each month since August. Unless weak economies overseas depress exports, the export volume should increase each month into next spring.
In the first 10 months of 2012, Los Angeles, the nation’s largest container port, handled 6,906,578 20-foot containers. That was an increase of 4.69 percent compared to the same period last year.