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Ports & Terminals

Seroka says no major dislocation from Shanghai lockdown

Gene Seroka, executive director, Port of Los Angeles, noted that April 2022 results are projected but not finalized:

  • Container volume was down 5.8% from the same month last year coming in at a projected 891,582 TEUs.
  • Imports for April were down by 6.2% from the same month in 2021 at 459,918 TEUs.
  • Exports were down 15.4 % from a year earlier at 96,811 TEUs.

There has been no major dislocation of imports from China due to the COVID lockdown in Shanghai: “The Transpacific trade is holding steady.” One reason is that the Chinese Port of Ningbo has been able to process some container freight that would normally go through the Port of Shanghai. The Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan is expected to exceed 3 million TEUs in April and has been operating without major interruption during the current COVID restrictions according to Port Technology.

On the subject of losing business to East Coast and Gulf Coast ports, Seroka said: “I don’t want to lose a pound of freight to any other port… but I do know anecdotally that folks have moved their cargo around. They need choice…They need to “de-risk” their supply chains. But from the numbers we’ve put up over the last two years … we continue to drive more volume through this port than ever in our history.”

Seroka added, there continues to be delays dispatching rail freight from the Port: “around 30% of imports arrive are rail freight but only about 20% is going out…Normally we have 9,000 containers of rail cargo ready to load and right now we’re double that.”

Delays in rail shipment from the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach were up, according to the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA): “In March, containers leaving on trucks remained on terminals for an average of 6.26 days, up from 5.84 days the month before. Dwell time for containers leaving on rail increased by more than two days with an average of 7.7 days in March, up from 5.2 days the month before. Pre-pandemic, dwell time rarely exceeded three days.”

Stas Margaronis
Stas Margaronis

WEST COAST CORRESPONDENT

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