The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handled 40.9 percent of all U.S. containerized imports in 2013, and 25.5 percent of U.S. exports. The sheer scale of container volume is putting shippers on edge as they plan their supply chains in advance of the July 1 expiration of the West Coast dockworkers contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
The Southern Californian ports combined handled 10.6 million laden TEUs last year, with exports up 2.3 percent year-over-year and 4.8 percent from 2008, the last year before volumes tanked in the global recession. Imports increased 3.6 percent year-over-year and were 2.6 percent above 2008.
The top-ranking ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach held a combined 62.2 percent share of the U.S. West Coast’s 5.2 million-TEU export market and a combined 76.6 percent of the West Coast’s 9.6 million-TEU import market in 2013. U.S. West Coast ports handled 14.9 million TEUs, or 48.2 percent, of the 30.8 million TEUs in U.S containerized cargo trade in 2013, with volume up 2.3 percent year-over-year and 4.2 percent above 2008.
At 13.6 million TEUs in 2013, East Coast ports accounted for 44 percent of 2013 U.S. containerized trade and edged nearer to the top-ranked West Coast ports. Only 1.3 million TEUs separated the two coasts last year, as volume through the East increased 3.1 percent year-over-year and was 7.2 percent above 2008.
Although Gulf ports led the way in the nation’s coastal growth — increasing 4.2 percent in 2013 and 17.5 percent from 2008 — they accounted for just 7.8 percent of the 2013 U.S. containerized trade.
The top 10 container carriers in the U.S. West Coast export trade in 2013 carried 72.2 percent of the 5.2 million-TEU market. APL led with a 9.9 percent share of the market, followed by Evergreen Line, with 9 percent; Maersk Line, 8.7 percent; Hanjin Shipping, 7.6 percent; and Mediterranean Shipping Co. at 7.5 percent. Eighth-ranked CMA CGM Group spiked 24.2 percent year-over-year as its expansion kicked in.
The U.S. West Coast import trade’s top 10 container lines carried 71.6 percent of the 9.6 million-TEU market last year. Evergreen leapfrogged Maersk to garner the top ranking as 13.1 percent growth year-over-year led to a 9.6 percent share of the market. Maersk’s volume fell 5.8 percent year-over-year, giving the line a 9.1 percent share. APL followed with 8.7 percent, Hanjin with 8.2 percent, and MSC with 7.4 percent.
Mainland China again was the primary trading partner of the U.S. West Coast ports, accounting for 36.2 percent of the 5.2 million-TEUs in coastal exports and 62.2 percent of the 9.6 million-TEUs in imports. Japan ranked second in both trade lanes with 13.4 percent of the export trade and 5.3 percent of the import trade. Upstart Vietnam, with 4.2 percent of the import trade lane, spiked 8.6 percent above 2012 and ranked fourth, displacing Taiwan. In contrast, trade moving to the West Coast from sixth-ranked Hong Kong fell 8.7 percent year-over-year.
|U.S. West Coast ports’ imports by trading partner||U.S. West Coast ports’ exports by trading partner|
|Imports via U.S. West Coast ports: ocean carrier volumes, 2010-2013||Exports via U.S. West Coast ports: ocean carrier volumes, 2010-2013|
Data results for this article and the accompanying charts are as of March 18 and may be subject to revision.