According to the Port of Los Angeles, imports increased by 16.7 percent, from 312,359 Twenty-Foot Equivalent (TEU) containers in April 2011 to 364,555 TEUs this April. Exports increased 11.5 percent, from 167,448 TEUs in April 2011 to 186,838 TEUs in April 2012.
Combined, total loaded imports and exports for April increased 14.9 percent, from 479,808 TEUs last April to 551,393 TEUs in April 2012.
Phillip Sanfield (Port of Los Angeles)
Factoring in empties, which increased 13.3 percent year over year, overall April 2012 volumes (707,182 TEUs) increased 14.5 percent compared to April 2011 (617,272 TEUs). Those figures reflect the busiest April in Port history, surpassing April 2007 volumes of 679,575 TEUs.
For the first four months of 2012, overall container volumes have increased 6.1 percent (2,582,003 TEUs) compared to the same period in 2011 (2,433,499 TEUs).
"April was a very, very strong month with double-digit increases on both the import and export side. It was our best month of 2012 and also the busiest April ever in terms of overall volumes. We were pleasantly surprised with the import numbers, and that could reflect increased consumer confidence," said Phillip Sanfield, Port spokesperson.
Sanfield further commented, "The increase in empty containers returning to Asia bodes well because it's an indication that shippers are repositioning containers for the return-to-school season. Those goods traditionally start coming toward the end of June and into July. After that, we're hopeful that our late summer volumes will move into a more traditional holiday peak season pattern."