Wednesday, November 25, 2009

California Major Ports Down in October, Exports Climb at LA and Oakland

Two of California's three major container ports reported sizable increases in export boxes during October, though all three ports posted declines for overall container traffic in October and remain in the negative for the year to date.

The ports of Los Angeles and Oakland saw exports increase while the Port of Long Beach reported exports down. All three were down in all other categories including exports, empties and total box moves for the month.

The Port of Long Beach reported a 24 percent drop in total box traffic for October compared to last year. The port, the nation's second busiest, shed more than 150,000 TEU compared to October 2008 to end the month at 452,418 TEU handled. Loaded inbounds at Long Beach fell 22.4 percent for the month, loaded outbounds dropped 10.1 percent and empties fell a precipitous 37.6 percent compared to the same period last year. For the first ten months of the year, total containers moving through Long Beach are down 24.5 percent to 4,152,209 TEUs.

At neighboring Los Angeles, the nation's busiest container port, total box traffic was down 8.3 percent in October, ending the month at 647,424 TEUs. While loaded inbound containers fell during the month by 8.7 percent and empties were off 21.2 percent, total loaded outbound boxes marked a sole bright spot, increasing 11.8 percent compared to October 2008. October was the tenth straight month in which the port reported a decline in total monthly traffic and for the first ten months of the year Los Angeles remains down 15.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

In the Bay Area, the Port of Oakland saw a 6.7 percent drop in total container numbers for the month, ending October with 181,066 TEUs handled. Imports moving through Oakland in October were off 8.4 percent and empties were down 11 percent, with export boxes climbing 17.2 percent. Like Los Angeles, total monthly container numbers at Oakland were down in every month since January and for the first ten months of the year Oakland's total container volume is off 11.1 percent compared to the same period a year ago.