The Port of Los Angeles reported Friday that supply chain efficiencies helped it to a new all-time cargo volume record in 2017, racking up 9,343,192 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) handled throughout the year. The new record represents a 5.5 percent increase over 2016’s record-breaking year.
“2017 was a year beyond expectations but it was not by chance,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Our growth is a direct result of a concerted, multi-year effort by the Port and its many partners to maximize efficiency throughout the supply chain. All the collaborative work by a broad range of global maritime stakeholders has delivered these remarkable results.”
The port credits its record year to supply chain efficiencies implemented in 2017 that included technology upgrades, such as the new “Port Optimizer” that aggregates key cargo data online to facilitate better cargo tracking, projections and productivity. Also, infrastructure upgrades like those completed at TraPac Container Terminal and Yusen Terminals, Inc. during 2017 boosted the port’s ability to service increasingly larger ships and facilitate cargo movements.
The new record comes despite a dip in both containerized imports and exports in December by 2.2 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Along with a 1.5 percent rise in empty containers, overall December containers were 779,210 TEUs, an overall decrease of 2.2 percent compared to the previous year.
“We are extremely proud of the role our workforce has played in achieving this cargo milestone, and in keeping the San Pedro Bay port complex the number one trade gateway in the U.S.,” said Mark Mendoza, President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union 13.
“The cargo volume for 2017 reflects the importance of the Port of Los Angeles, not just to the regional economy but the nation,” said John McLaurin, President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA). “The record volume could not have taken place without the hard work and cooperation of everyone in the supply chain.”