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Monday, June 17, 2024

LA Port Traffic Decreased Year-over-year in May

by Calculated Risk on 6/17/2024 10:57:00 AM

Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being exported and imported - and usually some hints about the trade report since LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation's container port traffic.

The following graphs are for inbound and outbound traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container).

To remove the strong seasonal component for inbound traffic, the first graph shows the rolling 12-month average.

LA Area Port TrafficClick on graph for larger image.

On a rolling 12-month basis, inbound traffic decreased 0.4% in May compared to the rolling 12 months ending in April.   Outbound traffic decreased 0.1% compared to the rolling 12 months ending the previous month.

The 2nd graph is the monthly data (with a strong seasonal pattern for imports).

LA Area Port TrafficUsually imports peak in the July to October period as retailers import goods for the Christmas holiday, and then decline sharply and bottom in the Winter depending on the timing of the Chinese New Year.  

Imports were down 5% YoY in May, and exports were down 1% YoY.    

In general, it appears port traffic is returning to the pre-pandemic patterns.