Overall container traffic at the Port of Long Beach dropped 8.8 percent in July compared to the same month in 2011, with the port seeing downward slides in all major traffic categories, including the number of loaded inbound, loaded outbound and empty containers shipped.
Imports were down 10 percent and exports down nearly 1.9 percent, according to the port’s newly released data.
Long Beach terminals handled 522,486 TEUs last month, compared to 572,926 TEUs in July 2011. Import containers accounted for 261,233 TEUs, compared to 290,314 TEUs in July 2011. Exports accounted for 124,574 TEUs, compared to 126,968 TEUs a year ago.
Empty container moves were down almost 12.2 percent to 136,679 TEUs last month compared to 155,644 TEUs in July 2011.
For the calendar year to date, overall container traffic at Long Beach is down 5.5 percent through July. And for the fiscal year so far, which began in October 2011, traffic is also down. About 5.23 million containers had moved through the port by this point during the prior fiscal year, but during the same time period during FY 2012, Long Beach has seen 4.8 million TEUs, a drop of about 8.3 percent.
The port attributes the volume decreases in part to the slow national economic recovery, which over the past couple of years has led to the elimination of ship calls at Long Beach by several niche service strings.