Special note: The expansion to the Panama Canal was
completed in 2016 (As I
noted a few years ago), and some of the traffic that used the
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is probably going through the
canal. This might be impacting TEUs on the West Coast.
Container traffic gives us an idea about the volume of goods being
exported and imported – and usually some hints about the trade
report since LA area ports handle about 40% of the nation’s
container port traffic.
To remove the strong seasonal component for inbound traffic, the
first graph shows the rolling 12 month average.
On a rolling 12 month basis, inbound traffic was down 0.4% in June
compared to the rolling 12 months ending in May. Outbound
traffic was down 0.3% compared to the rolling 12 months ending the
The 2nd graph is the monthly data (with a strong seasonal pattern
Usually imports peak in the July to October period as retailers
import goods for the Christmas holiday, and then decline sharply
and bottom in February or March depending on the timing of the
Chinese New Year (February 5th in 2019).
In general imports have been increasing, and exports have mostly
moved sideways over the last 8 years.
Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 2
LA area Port Traffic Down Year-over-year in June