The adjoining Los Angeles and Long Beach ports recorded a combined increase in containerized cargo of 1.2 percent, while a decline of 6.5 percent was posted at the Northwest Seaport Alliance ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
The five major U.S. West Coast container ports – those in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, and Seattle – collectively handled 5,316 more inbound TEUs in October 2017 than they did in the same month a year ago, a year-over-year gain of just 0.6 percent, according to newly compiled data that was released Dec. 19 by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA).
The adjoining Los Angeles and Long Beach ports in Southern California recorded combined growth of 1.2 percent (8,376 TEUs), while a decline of 6.5 percent (7,782 TEUs) was posted at the Northwest Seaport Alliance ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
Oakland recorded a 6.4% rise (plus 8,823 TEUs) from last October, according to PMSA data, while north of the border, Canada’s Vancouver and Prince Rupert in British Columbia combined to post a 9.2 percent gain of 15,256 TEUs.
On the loaded export side, the big five U.S. West Coast ports handled 38,691 fewer outbound loaded TEUs this October than they had a year earlier, a decline of 9.2 percent, according to PMSA statistics.
None of the five reported year-over-year increases, although Long Beach came closest with a 0.5 percent (minus 620 TEUs) dip in export containers. Meanwhile, the two British Columbia ports saw their outbound trades slip by 5.9 percent, a total of 6,823 TEUs.
Looking at U.S. Commerce Department value and weight trade statistics, U.S. West Coast ports recorded a 1.8 percent year-over year rise in containerized import tonnage in October, and as a result, their share of mainland U.S. containerized import tonnage fell to 38.2 percent, compared to a 40.2 percent share in October 2016.
At LA-Long Beach, the share of U.S. mainland containerized import tonnage in October was 28.4 percent, down from 29.6 percent a year earlier, according to the PMSA.
Looking solely at U.S. containerized trade with the economies of East Asia, U.S. West Coast ports’ share of the declared weight of the contents of containerized imports arriving at mainland ports from East Asia maintained a downward trend, falling to 55.1 percent from 56.7 percent in September and from 60 percent in October 2016, statistics show.
“October’s share of containerized import tonnage from East Asia was the lowest in any month since the dock slowdown during the winter of 2014-2015,” the PMSA said in a statement. “The coastwide decline in October was partly attributable to a months-long shipping slowdown at the Port of Tacoma, which saw a 21.5 percent year-over-year fall-off in containerized import tonnage from East Asia.”
“Importantly,” the PMSA explained, “the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles saw their combined share of containerized import tonnage from East Asia in October slip to 43.3 percent from 46.3 percent a year earlier.”
By declared weight, China was the leading destination of U.S. West Coast containerized exports in October with a 28.4 percent share, but that figure was down from a 35.8 percent share a year ago.
Japan was the second-leading destination, according to statistics, with a 11.8 percent share, up from 10.9 percent a year earlier. Next was South Korea, which held a 10.41 percent share, up from 10.1 percent last October. Taiwan saw its share decline to 9 percent from 9.6 percent last October, while Vietnam took a 5.6 percent share of USWC exports, up from 3.6 percent a year earlier, the PMSA said.