Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SoCal Ports Report Continued Growth in February

The Southern California ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the nation’s two busiest container ports, reported dramatic cargo volume increases during the month of February, buoying hopes that the past several months of incremental growth are indications of an overall recovery trend.

The Port of Long Beach reported a nearly 30 percent jump in total monthly traffic compared to the year-ago period, ending the month with 413,134 TEUs handled. Total loaded inbound containers handled were up 39.3 percent to 207,920 TEUs and total loaded outbound boxes spiked similarly, up 32.8 percent compared to February 2008 at 123,208 TEUs.

Across the harbor, the Port of Los Angeles saw its first month of simultaneous increases in total, total inbound and total outbound boxes in more than a year. Port officials reported that total box volume traffic for February climbed to 525,459 TEUs, a 27 percent increase compared to last February. The port also saw a sharp uptick in loaded inbound box traffic, with 267,361 TEUs handled, a nearly 30 percent increase compared to the year-ago period. Loaded outbound box traffic was also up sharply at Los Angeles, with 147,926 TEUs handled for the month, a 32.6 percent increase over February 2008.

Cargo volumes at the two ports began to rise in December 2009, after more than two years of flat or decreasing volumes. While most analysts continue to predict small single digit cargo growth rates for 2010 at the ports, some port watchers are now suggesting a possible low double-digit increase at year's end.