The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been long established as two of the top ports in the United States for imports annual cargo volume. In 2012, the Port of Los Angeles received the most shipments out of any other port in the U.S. The Port of Long Beach was also in the running, ranking number 3 behind the Port of New York.

However, imports for the beginning of this year has been significantly different from years past. According to Import Genius, both shipping records and imports from last month show that this year’s March imports differed dramatically from the numbers seen a year ago.  In a recent report by the LA Times, March imports at the Port of Los Angeles dropped significantly from the same time in 2012, with nearly 232,000 fewer containers and about 29 percent fewer imports. Exports also saw a drop of close to 18% comparing numbers from this year to those in March 2012.  The Import Genius trade database - which contains over 75 million shipping records - shows that numbers for March of this year were almost cut in half compared to 2012. 139,560 shipments throughout the month of March last year turned into a mere 64,984 shipments last month. According to this data, shipments at the Port of Los Angeles have decreased by 53% year-over-year.  Imports into Long Beach also saw a decrease of .5%, according to a report released this week.  Looking at shipping records for the port of Long Beach within the Import Genius database, we can see a similar trend as there were significantly more shipments received in March 2012 compared to this year. The number of shipments fell by close to 50,000. This is a 45% year-over-year change. The only area that did see an uphill slant was the cargo volume. Compared to numbers for March 2012, cargo volume was up 5.4%. Exports were also at their best since June of 2008, increasing by over 156,000 container.  Despite the drop-off in the overall shipment numbers from last year to this year, port officials still reported a strong first quarter. They attribute the slowing of imports to the Lunar New Year Holiday which is celebrated in March in many countries. Still, the recent addition of more service lines and larger ships making more frequent trips to these ports contributed to solid first-quarter results.  Source: Imports to ports of L.A., Long Beach drop in March