January imports through the port of Los Angeles climbed the most in six years, signaling that disruptions caused by contract disputes have finally eased.
Los Angeles import volume surged 42 percent to the equivalent of 367,208 containers, according to the port. Total traffic rose 33 percent, making it the busiest January in the port’s 109-year history. Neighboring Long Beach reported a jump of 25 percent to 536,188 units, the seventh straight monthly increase.
“We are encouraged by the strong start to the year, which stands in stark contrast to the congestion we faced a year ago,” Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Officer Jon Slangerup said in a statement.
The ports, the two largest cargo handlers in the U.S., were mired in contract negotiations with dockworkers and shortages of equipment such as truck trailers that led to a backup during the 2014 holiday season that spilled over into 2015. Some cargo was diverted to other ports last January as a result of the congestion.
Cargo increased for such categories as clothing, furniture and electronics, according to Lee Peterson, a spokesman for Long Beach.
“It’s pretty much across the board,” he said.