Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Long Beach Monthly Cargo Volumes Rise

Overall cargo volumes rose 5.4 percent at the Port of Long Beach in March, thanks to a five-year high for exports, which were up 7.9 percent compared to the same month in 2012.

A total of 486,699 20-foot equivalent container units were moved in March, according to port data. Exports increased to 156,212 TEUs, the highest volume since June 2008.

Imports, meanwhile, were down 0.5 percent to 224,913 TEUs. The port maintains that imports slowed in March due to the Lunar New Year holiday, which affects production in many Asian countries that export to the United States.

Compared to 2012, the holiday celebration started later this year and the effects were pushed to March, while last year’s holiday slowed trade in February 2012.

The number of empties moved rose 16.5 percent year-over-year to 105,574 TEUs this past March, according to port data.

For the first three months of 2013, cargo container volumes were up 18.9 percent – including 20.3 percent higher imports, 10.9 percent higher exports and 26.8 percent more empties. The strong opening quarter was attributed in part by the port to the larger ships calling more frequently at Long Beach and the addition of service lines in recent months.

The port has also seen an increase in fiscal year volumes compared to 2012. For FY 2013, which began Oct. 1, Long Beach has moved about 3.2 million containers so far, a nearly 16 percent jump from the 2.7 million seen during the same period the year before.

The latest POLB monthly cargo numbers can be seen at http://www.polb.com/economics/stats/latest_teus.asp.