Pacific and Atlantic Coast Ports Report Strong Volumes in February

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Another month, another all-time monthly record at the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s busiest port facility.

It moved 857,764 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in February, up 7.3% from 799,315 last year. Additionally, it marked the port’s busiest February in its 115-year history and represents consecutive record months to start 2022.

“The latest data from the Port of Los Angeles reveals exceptionally high cargo volume in the month of February,” executive director Gene Seroka said during a briefing. “Growth continues to be driven by imports and the repositioning of empty containers.”

Growth continues to be driven by imports and the repositioning of empty containers.

Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director

However, he said exports were down more than 5.5% year-on-year and had fallen in 36 of the last 40 months.

During the briefing, Dee Dee Myers, Director of the State’s Office of Budget and Economic Development, described Governor Gavin Newsom’s planned record investment of $2.3 billion for California ports.

“We are using public funds to invest in infrastructure to increase capacity and resilience in the future,” Myers said.

The nearby port of Long Beach also had a solid month, moving 3.2% more containers than a year ago, 796,560 compared to 771,735 in February 2021.

Effective April 1, the port is instituting a $10 Clean Truck Fund fee on each TEU responsible for importing and exporting freight containers transported by drayage trucks as they enter or exit terminals at containers. The fund was created to promote the change to cleaner trucks. To be exempt, truckers must drive zero emission trucks and low nitrogen oxide (low NOx) emission trucks. It is estimated that the fee could raise $90 million in the first year alone to accelerate the development of zero-emissions technology.

The Port of Oakland carried 194,388 TEUs in February, a 2% increase from 190,489 in 2021. Import cargo, which accounts for 58% of port activity, rose 6.3% while that exports fell by 10.3%. That figure for imports is the highest in decades, port officials said.

However, the port recently announced plans to step up agricultural export operations and designate a specific area of ​​the facility for agriculture-related products.

Bryan Brandes


“We are pleased with the strength of import activity passing through Oakland,” said Port of Oakland Marine Manager Bryan Brandes. “And we are certain that total exports will increase as we increase the capacity to transport American products abroad.”

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which operates ports in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, said it carried 11.1% more containers in February than a year earlier. Stevedores handled 298,046 TEUs compared to 268,216 in 2021.

On the East Coast, the Port of Virginia set a record in February by handling 19% more containers — 296,201 compared to 248,526 a year ago. Two months into 2022, the port is already operating 40,000 TEUs ahead of 2021’s record pace of 3,522,834.

Containers stacked at the Port of Virginia terminal in Portsmouth

Shipping containers are stacked before being loaded at the APM Terminal at the Port of Virginia in Portsmouth. (Tim Rue/Bloomberg News)

A new report from the College of William & Mary has shown that the port continues to be an expanding force in the Commonwealth economy, responsible for more than 430,000 jobs and $27 billion in compensation attributed to port activity. Harbor.

Stephen Edwards


“The Port of Virginia is growing and producing meaningful and positive results for Virginia’s economy,” said Stephen Edwards, CEO of Virginia Port Authority. “The goal is to continue to drive economic growth for decades to come. Cargo is routed to well-run, modern and efficient ports, and as this port grows, its benefits to all Virginians also increase.

The South Carolina Ports Authority, which operates the Port of Charleston, reported a 26.4% year-over-year increase in container volume in February. The port handled a record 230,420 TEUs compared to 182,269 a year ago.

“February marked the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year monthly container records at SC Ports,” CEO Jim Newsome said. “With record throughput volumes, we continue to experience a high number of import containers awaiting delivery at our terminals.

“We remain focused on creative solutions and the execution of our vital infrastructure projects, including completing the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project this fall, kicking off construction of the base intermodal facility naval and barge project in the inner harbour, and progressing towards rapid completion of the Inland Port Greer expansion project.

For the current fiscal year 2022, the port is up almost 16% compared to fiscal year 2021.

Port Houston, Georgia Ports Authority (which operates the Port of Savannah), Port of Baltimore and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey did not have February numbers at press time.

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