Calculated Risk: Los Angeles Port Traffic: Inbound decreased in August

from Active calculated risk 09/22/2022 18:33:00

Note: The expansion to the Panama Canal was completed in 2016 (as I noted a few years ago), and some of the traffic that used the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is likely going through the canal. This could impact TEUs on the west coast.

Container traffic gives us an idea of ​​the volume of goods exported and imported – and usually some trading relationship hints as Los Angeles area ports handle about 40% of the nation’s container port traffic.

The graphs below refer to inbound and outbound traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in TEU (TEU: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot containers).

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

Click on the graphic to enlarge the image.

On a consecutive 12-month basis, inbound traffic decreased by 1.0% in August compared to 12 consecutive months ending in July. Outbound traffic increased by 0.1% over the 12 consecutive months ending the previous month.

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

Port traffic in the Los Angeles areaImports usually peak in the period from July to October as retailers import goods for the Christmas holidays, then drop dramatically and hit a low in February or March depending on the timing of the Chinese New Year.

Imports fell 12% yoy in August and exports increased 1% yoy.

Exports may have bottomed out after falling for several years (even before the pandemic).