“Our largest export commodity continues to be air” is a frequent saying of Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. That’s certainly true at his port, where exports are containerized. Far more empty boxes leave than full ones, so they can be reloaded quickly in Asia.
But look at the big picture and U.S. exports are actually rising — and on track for a record year. It’s just that more exports are being loaded aboard tankers and dry cargo vessels as opposed to container ships.