Friday, March 16, 2012

Long Beach Monthly Container Volume Drops 15 Percent

February was an all-round bad month for both imports and exports at the Port of Long Beach, as container trade volume at the port dipped 15.2 percent overall compared to the same period a year ago.

According to port data released this week, Long Beach terminals handled a total of 388,589 twenty-foot equivalent container units last month, compared to 458,336 TEUs in February 2011.

Long Beach’s loaded imports were down 18 percent compared with February 2011, falling to 191,475 TEUs from 233,660; loaded exports dropped almost 1.6 percent, falling to 120,006 from 121,929 TEUs.

Empty container moves were down 25 percent, to 77,108 TEUs, compared to 102,747 TEUs in February 2011.

February’s drop in imports was partly attributed by the port to the start of the Chinese New Year. Import volumes typically fall following the New Year as factories in Asia close for about a week during the holidays.

Last year, when the New Year fell on Feb. 3, the slowdown was felt in the latter part of the month and into early March. But this year, since the New Year fell on Jan. 23, the entire slowdown period came in February.

For the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the port’s total TEU volume is down a total of 12.4 percent compared to fiscal year 2011. The number of loaded inbound, loaded outbound and empties moved have declined 12.93 percent, 12.89 percent and 10.79 percent respectively, compared to the same period during the previous fiscal year.