Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have said that they created a historical record of port container throughput in 2018.
As the busiest container port in North America, the Port of Los Angeles handled 9.46 million TEUs last year, the largest in 111 years since its founding, and an increase of 1.2% compared with the same period in 2017.
The neighboring Port of Long Beach handled more than 8 million TEUs for the first time, an increase of 7% compared to the same period in 2017.
“This is due to the shipment impulse brought by Sino-US trade frictions” said Gene Seroka, executive director of Los Angeles Port, which said direct trade with China accounted for more than half of the $284 billion in goods.
“A lot of people are worried that we will increase the 10% tariff on certain items to 25% on January 1st,” Seroka said.
In late November 2018, the United States and China agreed to achieve a 90-day ceasefire in a fierce trade war. Under the agreement, the United States will impose a 10% tariff on Chinese imports valued at $200 billion.
Before the news came out, many importers accelerated all orders from clothing to auto parts to avoid higher tariffs.
The National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates' global port tracking company expects US imports to grow by 5.3% in 2018, reaching a record 21.6 million TEU.
They expect that the increase in cargo throughput in the first few months of 2019 will slow down, on the one hand, due to reduced demand, and second, because Asian Lunar New Year factories will be shut down, and imports will generally weaken.