Friday, March 18, 2011

SoCal Ports Report Solid Growth In February

Shippers moving cargo early to beat the weeklong shutdown in Asia for the Chinese New Year boosted cargo numbers at the Southern California ports in February, with Long Beach boasting double-digit increases and Los Angeles turning in a respectable increase over February 2010.

The Port of Long Beach moved a total of 458,336 TEUs in February; a 10.9 percent increase over the same month a year ago.

Port officials reported handling a total of 233,660 loaded inbound TEUs in February, a 12.4 percent increase over the year-ago period, and handling a total of 121,929 loaded outbound TEUs, a 1 percent drop over the February 2010.

Ben Hackett, founder of maritime industry consulting and research firm Hackett and Associates, said that any impacts from the early-February Chinese New Year are more likely to be reflected in the West Coast ports’ March cargo numbers. Hackett, whose firm also produces the Global Port Tracker report which tracks and forecasts cargo numbers at 12 major US ports, said that the major West Coast ports can still look forward to an estimated 8 percent growth rate for all of 2011.

Across the bay, the Port of Los Angeles handled a total of 554,913 TEUs in February, a 5.6 percent increase over last February. For the month, the port moved a total of 275,886 loaded inbound TEUs, a 3.2 percent increase, and a total of 150,357 loaded outbound TEUs, a 1.64 percent increase--both compared to February 2010.