Thursday, October 20, 2011

Long Beach Sees Declines in September Cargo Numbers

Cargo numbers at the Port of Long Beach took a tumble in September, with import, export and total volumes all down compared to the same month last year.

Taken in conjunction with similar September reports at other West Coast ports, the Long Beach volumes strengthen the idea that the holiday shipping season may have peaked as early as July this year. September marks the weakest month of the year since March for Long Beach, the second busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere.

A recent PMM Online analysis of the past 15 years of traffic at the Long Beach port showed that August was the traditional peak month, with a slight dip in September and a jump back up to just below the peak in October before ramping down through February of the next year. The port's busiest month so far has been July.

The port handled a total of 527,175 TEUs in September, an 8.3 percent decline over the year-ago period.

On the import side, the port handled a total of 263,214 loaded inbound TEUs, a 8.9 percent drop when compared to September 2010.

The export side of the ledger also posted a 4.7 percent drop, with a total of 118,214 loaded outbound TEUs moved during the month.

For the calendar year, the port remains 0.8 percent above the first nine months of 2010, with a total of 4,603,601 TEUs moved since Jan. 1 of this year.

As previously reported, the neighboring Port of Los Angeles managed to do slightly better in September with a 0.8 percent decline in total volume over the year-ago period, a 0.2 percent drop in imports but a massive 26.6 percent increase in exports.