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New York Port to West Coast: We’re No. 1

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced this week that for a second consecutive month, the Port of New York and Jersey was again the nation’s busiest container port after handling 35 percent more cargo than it moved in September 2019.

The seaport also marked its 26th straight month of moving extraordinary record monthly cargo volume. Compared to August, when the seaport handled 843,191 twenty-foot containers or equivalent units (TEUs), September cargo activity at the seaport was essentially flat at 842,219 TEU.

“Shippers are routing more cargo through the East and Gulf coast,” Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka said at a media briefing last month. “That’s likely to continue until a West Coast labor contract is in place and that can’t happen soon enough.”

Diminishing consumer demand, full warehouses and inflation concerns led to a decline in cargo containers moved through the Port of Long Beach in September.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 741,823 TEU of cargo containers in the month, down 0.9 percent from September 2021. Imports decreased 7.4 percent to 342,671 TEU, while exports increased 1.9 percent to 112,940 TEU.

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“Consumers and retailers are concerned about inflation, leading to warehouses filled with inventory and fewer product orders from Asia,” said Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero. “The respite is leading to increased capacity on the docks and fewer ships waiting off the coast to enter the port.”

At the twin port of Los Angeles, with high levels of retail and other inventory already on shelves and in warehouses, cargo volume at the Port of Los Angeles eased again in September. The port handled 709,873 TEU in the month, a 21.5 percent decrease from September 2021, which was the port’s busiest September on record.

Closing out the third quarter, the Port of Los Angeles processed 7.86 million TEU during the first nine months of 2022, about 4 percent down from last year’s record pace.

“Despite what will likely be a soft ending to 2022, we are on track to have the second-best year in our history,” Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka said at a media briefing. “More importantly, the cargo backlog that began last year has been nearly eliminated due to the diligent, combined efforts of our supply chain partners.”

September loaded imports reached 343,462 TEU, down 27 percent compared to the previous year. Loaded exports came in at 77,680 TEU, up 3 percent compared to last September.