The Port of Long Beach saw across the board declines in all its container volume categories during April 2012, according to newly-released data, resulting in a total drop of 13 percent compared with the same month last year.
Last month, port terminals handled a total of 461,911 20-foot-equavalent units, compared to 531,090 TEUs in April 2011, a drop of 13.0 percent. The port’s loaded inbound container volume was down 13.75 percent to 232,963 TEUs compared to 270,107 TEUs in April 2011, while loaded exports were down 16.2 percent to 120,452 TEUs compared to 143,683 TEUs.
Empty container moves were down 7.5 percent to 108,496 TEUs compared to 117,300 a year ago. For the calendar year, container volumes at the port are down by 5.8 percent compared to the first four months of 2011, according to the port, which posted the data on its website May 15.
Long Beach is partially attributing the volume declines to the elimination of several niche service lines that had called at the port last year. Their loss, however, is expected to be countered by three new lines of vessels from Asia that are expected to begin calling at Long Beach later this month.
Combined, the three services are expected to add as much as 500,000 TEUs through the remainder of the year, according to the port, and analysts forecast modest growth in trade for Long Beach in 2012.
The POLB’s April 2012 declines contrast greatly with the volume number at the adjoining Port of Los Angeles, which earlier this week reported the busiest April in its 104-year history.
Combined, total loaded imports and exports last month increased 14.9 percent, rising from 479,808 TEUs in April 2011 to 551,393 TEUs last month.
For the calendar year to date, overall container volumes at Los Angeles have increased 6.1 percent to 2.58 million TEUs compared to the 2.43 million TEUs shipped during the first four months of 2011, according to the port.