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Port of LA Presses On with Supply Chain Digitization to Meet Exporters Needs

In a joint broadcast presented by Port of Los Angeles today,  Executive Director Gene Seroka discussed the port’s best September as well as the best single three-month quarter in the port’s 114-year history.

Joining him was Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC), who addressed the widening trade deficit and effect on U.S. agricultural exporters.

Both men maintained that digitization of the supply chain will be crucial if ongoing needs of our nation’s exporters are met.

“We ship goods of very low margins that can be produced in any number of other places in the world,” said Friedmann. “Our only advantage is if efficiency is constantly improved.”

The Port of Los Angeles processed 883,625 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in September, an increase of 13.3% compared to 2019. It marks the busiest September as well as the best single three-month quarter – 2,701,847 TEUs – in the port’s 114-year history.

“Despite unresolved questions about our nation’s health, economy and export strength, imports have improved significantly after a difficult spring,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I commend our longshore labor force, Los Angeles marine terminal operators, truckers and supply chain stakeholders who continue to rise to the challenge throughout this pandemic.”

September loaded imports increased 17.3% to 471,795 TEUs compared to the previous year. Loaded exports decreased 0.3% to 130,397 TEUs. Empty containers increased 14% to 281,434 TEUs. The 883,625 TEUs in total eclipsed the previous September record of 801,264 set in 2018.

Year to date, cargo has decreased 8.9% compared to 2019.

Ninety seven cargo vessels arrived in September, with no canceled sailings. The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Oliver discharged and loaded more than 30,200 TEUs during its visit in September to APM Terminals. It’s the second highest all-time number of TEUs handled in a single ship visit at the Port of Los Angeles.

As reported in SCMR, the Port of Los Angeles now provides data from The Signal, a three-week look at cargo coming into Los Angeles. The information, powered by the Port Optimizer, which is updated daily.

Meanwhile, The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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