Cargo volume through the nation’s ports remained strong in April, driven by imports as retailers replenish depleted inventories and make early orders to ensure product availability, according to reports issued today.
Port Houston recorded its busiest April on record, handling 334,493 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 21% increase year-over-year and year-to-date, officials said. Year-to-date container volume surpasses 1 million, reaching 1.24 million TEUs. The port also marked its highest monthly loaded import volume ever.
Regional exports of resin, chemicals, cotton, and other U.S.-made goods rose 25% in April, and outbound empty containers rose 6% compared to April 2020, officials also reported.
Port Houston’s Executive Director Roger Guenther said he expects the strong activity to continue through the rest of the year.
“April was another record month for containers at Port Houston,” Guenther said in a press release Tuesday. “Month after month we’ve seen numbers that are unprecedented at our facilities.”
The Port of Savannah posted strong April results as well, handling 495,782 TEUs during the month, according to a release from the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Tuesday. GPA’s containerized trade increased 6.2% compared to April 2020, marking the port’s third busiest month ever. Container volume is up 8% fiscal year-to-date, driven by retail imports, officials said.
“The phenomenal growth we have achieved has been made possible by the team effort of GPA and Gateway Terminals employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association, and our partners in trucking and rail,” according to GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Their hard work has ensured the free flow of cargo between major markets across the U.S. Southeast and the world.”
On the West Coast, the Port of Los Angeles processed 887,357 TEUs in April, down 6.29% compared to a year ago, but still marking the port’s second-best April on record. Year to date, the port has processed 3.5 million TEUs, 1% ahead of last year’s record pace, officials said.
“We’ve had a remarkably strong start to the year and cargo continues to flow into Los Angeles despite some of the COVID lockdowns in China,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a press release. “While there are impacts being seen from sub-assembly to manufacturing through delivery, transpacific trade has held steady.
“Looking forward, while we don’t expect any abrupt changes, the situation in China may lead to a lull in volume with a fairly quick bounceback once the lockdowns end.”