LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Port of Los Angeles, the busiest port in the United States by container volume, processed 980,729 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in October, which marked the busiest month in the port's 114-year history.
The total volume of cargo moved last month increased by 27.3 percent compared to October 2019 and eclipsed the previous monthly record of 961,833 set in August of this year, according to the data released by the port on Wednesday.
The loaded imports of the port reached 506,613 TEUs, the loaded exports edged up 2.6 percent to 143,936 TEUs. Meanwhile, empty containers increased 39.3 percent compared to October 2019, reaching a record of 330,180 TEUs.
As of October, the overall cargo volumes in the first ten months of this year still lag by 5.3 percent compared to 2019, the port said.
The port authority warned that even though the overall volume was strong but the figures also showed the trade imbalance was worrisome.
"For every three and a half containers that are imported into Los Angeles from abroad, only one container leaves filled with U.S. exports. One-way trade will not put Americans back to work and it adds logistical challenges to the supply chain." Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said at an online conference.
IHS Markit transportation economist Paul Bingham was quoted on Thursday by the Transport Topics website as saying e-commerce is a fundamental reason for the surge at ports, especially on the West Coast.
"The single biggest factor is the huge shift in consumers, households in the United States shifting their consumption from services toward goods ... A tremendous percentage are being bought through e-commerce," he said. "We've seen a remarkable rebound from the depths of the second quarter. We've been playing catch-up." Enditem