Friday, March 21, 2014

Long Beach Monthly Cargo Volume Dips

By Mark Edward Nero

Overall cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach dipped 2.6 percent last month due to an 8.3 percent decline in empty containers, according to newly released data.

The data show that total import volume was down 2.7 percent at the port in February, while exports were up 2.1 percent compared to the same month last year.

A total of 517,173 TEUs moved through port terminals during February. Imports numbered 271,671 TEUs, down 2.7 percent from 2013. However, exports rose 2.1 percent to 143,572 containers. Empty containers were down 8.3 percent to 101,930 TEUs.

The port partially attributes the decline in cargo numbers to the Lunar New Year, a holiday celebrated in China and other countries in East Asia.

The holiday fell on Jan. 31 this year, and it started a two-week period during which many businesses in Asia close their doors to allow employees to be with their families; production is minimal and business is slow. Because of the time for vessels to cross the Pacific, the port was affected from mid-February to early March.

Volumes at the adjoining Port of Los Angeles were also affected by the holiday, which is also known as Chinese New Year. Earlier this week, the POLA reported its total cargo volumes for February 2013 were off nine percent compared to the same month last year.

For the calendar year to date, Long Beach has moved a little more than one million TEUs, a drop of two percent from the same two months in 2013. For the fiscal year however, Long Beach terminals have shipped 2.77 million TEUs, a rise of 2.3 percent from the 2.71 million during FY 2013. The Port of Long Beach’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

More details on the port’s cargo numbers can be found at