New analysis into the empty container exports out of the Port of LA shows just how desperately the flow of trade is trying to right itself.

According to data, the share of empty exports to total exports leaving the port is up over 10% and leaving at a faster rate compared to pre-pandemic levels. The rate of empty containers leaving the Port of LB and Port of NY/NJ is slightly higher. Exports originating from these ports are currently under review by the FMC after a noted imbalance of 2020 US exports versus empty containers.

“The majority of these empty containers being exported are currently staged at the terminals,” explained Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of LA. “The terminals are moving out these containers with each sailing to free up space to increase land capacity and bring on more imports. Two-thirds of empty containers are returned to the port’s marine terminals by truck.
Equally important — 30% of all truck appointments are still not being filled each day. We must improve on this figure immediately.”

Freight Waves