Containerized imports at the Port of Los Angeles surged 25.2 percent in February. While welcome news, the 318,547 20-foot container units were compared to an especially weak number in February 2012.
February was the slowest month of the year in 2012 because of the timing of Chinese New Year. Factories in Asia close down for two weeks or so during the annual festivities. This year, the Lunar New Year was later, and that could be reflected in the March numbers.
Shipping lines this year canceled more than 30 sailings since Chinese New Year because volumes have been light.
Exports in February declined 4.9 percent year-over-year, reflecting the economic recession in Europe and the impact of Europe’s woes on large U.S. trading partners such as China.
The total container volume of 614,949 TEUs in February, including empties, was up 17 percent over February 2012. In the first two months of the calendar year, total container volume in Los Angeles was up 4.9 percent compared to the first two months of 2012.