LA Port: ‘Trade is Holding Steady’

LA Port: ‘Trade is Holding Steady’

Dive Brief:

  • The Port of Los Angeles is not seeing any impacts yet from the COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai, Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a briefing Friday.
  • There has been “no dramatic change” in the number of vessels leaving China, as vessel numbers bound for the San Pedro Bay remain “pretty consistent,” Seroka said. The number of ships departing Asia on Friday stood at 46, in line with every other week of 2022 thus far.
  • “I don’t see a bust [in cargo volumes] coming anytime soon,” Seroka said. “More likely, as I’ve shared before, we may see a lull in volume with a fairly quick bounce back when the lockdowns end.”

Dive Insight:

While lockdowns in China have caused manufacturing disruptions and delayed supply deliveries, the Port of Los Angeles is not seeing any major effects at the moment, Seroka said. The port is working with the Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan to help the flow of cargo.

“The [Ningbo] port director himself is making sure that Transpacific trade and cargo specifically near Southern California is prioritized,” Seroka said. Ningbo has taken cargo “away from Shanghai to alleviate that pressure,” he said. “What we see in front of us is [a] constant flow of cargo vessels on the container side,” he said.

Despite a consistent flow of cargo, shippers have still been affected by the ongoing lockdowns in China. Ford, for example, reported supply constraints slowing down its assembly line, with over 50,000 vehicles awaiting component installation of semiconductors. The automaker resorted to using expedited shipping lanes to pull ahead supply and mitigate COVID-19 disruptions in China, according to the company’s April 27 Q1 earnings call.

Lockdowns in Shanghai have now stretched more than six weeks, with uncertainty remaining about what further effects the disruptions will have on Southern California ports and the global supply chain.

“There are a lot of things we don’t know,” Seroka said. “If this lockdown goes farther, it goes deeper into May or June, these are issues that we’re going to have to grapple with.”


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