One of the busiest ports across the U.S. saw a drop in numbers in April. The report for cargo volumes in April at the Port of Los Angeles showed that shipments were down compared to container volumes in April 2012.

The Import Genius trade database, tracking over 80 million ocean freight shipping manifests, recorded only 92,568 shipments into the port last month. Over 165,500 shipments were received in April last year, making the year-over-year change 44 percent.  As the number of shipments dropped, so did the number of containers received by the port. “Imports dropped 10.36 percent, from 364,555 Twenty-Foot Equivalent (TEU) containers in April 2012 to 326,780 TEUs this April,” according to a report by The Maritime Executive. Their report also stated that the drop can largely be attributed to a vessel service that transitioned out of the port.  We did some digging and found that overall shipments from January through April this year are nowhere close to numbers seen at the Port of Los Angeles last year. After crunching the numbers, we concluded the year-over-year change exceeds 40 percent. While 570,220 shipments were received during the first 4 months of 2012, that number significantly dropped this year. The Import Genius database shows that just 338,302 shipments have been received in 2013 for the same time frame. However, looking across the last several years, the data shows that import volumes actually increased from 2011 to 2012 by over 1.1 million shipments.  Numbers for May this year are already far from higher import volumes seen in 2012. Last year, about 94,000 shipments had been recorded during the first half of May. However, only about 35,000 shipments have been recorded during the first two weeks this year.  Both close in proximity and comparable in traffic with the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach recorded growth in April. Long Beach saw an increase in container volume of about 13 percent, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. LABJ also stated that container shipping group CMA CGM’s move from Los Angeles to Long Beach last year has had a notable impact on shipment volumes at the Port of Los Angeles.  Despite Long Beach’s overall rise in imports of about 14 percent, shipments slightly decreased from 2011 to 2012. In addition, April 2013 cargo volumes are less than numbers in April 2012. Over 458,500 shipments were received up to April 30, 2012. However, this year has seen nearly a 25 percent year-over-year change with just over 346,000 shipments thus far.  If key shipping lines continue to move out the Port of Los Angeles, numbers may continue to drop there. The Port of Long Beach is currently gaining some of LA’s business. Import Genius trade data specialists will continue to track activities at these major ports to see what else develops through the remainder of this year.  Sources:

L.A. Port Numbers Fall, Long Beach’s Rise

Port of Los Angeles Container Volumes Decrease in April