Obliged to divert traffic and ships to other ports in order to decongest its quays. In the end, after months of disruption and disservices, Los Angeles port has been forced to throw in the towel.
U.S. Port Executive Director Gene Seroka said that if the port hadn’t stopped, it wouldn’t be able to clear all the backlog; it needs to catch its breath. Even without new traffic, it would take about a month to be able to clear the cargo of all the ships that are currently at anchor.
Mr. Seroka attributes much of the congestion problems to the remarkable vibrancy of U.S. consumers who have been continuing to make purchases since the summer of 2020 and thus fuel import volumes.
To date, retail sales are 5.3% higher than those totaled in January. The port expects to handle 730,000 TEUs in February, up 34% from last year’s volumes, and 775,000 TEUs in March, an expected 72% more than 2020.
In January alone, 835,513 TEUs were handled (up 3.6%). This is the sixth consecutive month of growth recorded thanks to import results.
Exports, on the other hand, were down 19.5% from January 2020, to 119000 TEUs.