Friday, September 19, 2014

POLB Monthly Cargo Numbers Slip

By Mark Edward Nero

Container cargo shipments declined by 9.1 percent at the Port of Long Beach in August, something the port says is partially a reflection of early shipping by importers this year.

A total of 573,083 TEUs were moved through the port in August 2014. Imports dropped 8.2 percent to 300,851 TEUs and exports declined 17.7 percent to 126,856 TEUs compared to the same month in 2013. The volume of empty containers being sent overseas to be refilled fell two percent to 145,376 TEUs.

The downturn last month followed a surge in Long Beach from April through June 2014, when retailers shipped their products early ahead of the expiration of the longshore contract at the end of June.

Last month’s year-over-year numbers also suffer by comparison to an August last year that was the port’s busiest month since 2007. August 2013 kicked off the typical August through October peak shipping season, during which overseas companies typically export goods to the US in time for the holidays. The port says it believes that this year’s peak season may have occurred earlier this year.

The first eight months of 2014 saw a one percent increase in volume compared to the same period in 2013. Last year was the third-busiest year in port history with a total of 6.73 million TEUs.

So far for the fiscal year to date, Long Beach has seen 6.1 million containers, up from six million during the same 11-month period during FY 2013.

More details on the port’s cargo numbers are available at