Friday, December 11, 2015

5th Straight Month of Cargo Gains at POLB

By Mark Edward Nero

Strong cargo volume continued at the Port of Long Beach in November with 6.6 percent growth in container trade over the same month last year, according to newly released data.

It was the fifth straight month of increases and enough cargo to rack up the second-busiest November in its 104-year history, the port said.

A total of 619,699 TEUs moved through port terminals last month. Imports were up 4.3 percent to 306,654 containers, while exports fell four percent to 124,717 containers. The number of empty TEUs shipped was 188,328, a 19.5 percent increase over November 2015.

“Thanks to our industry partners, we have had consistent gains throughout 2015 and are on track to move more than seven million TEUs this year,” Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup said. “Retailers have reported a modest but healthy holiday season, which keeps us busy and the economy growing.”

The port said it believes that upcoming post-holiday sales planned by retailers across the country drove the port’s strong cargo numbers, as retailers heavily stocked their shelves a few months ago and are now shipping the empty containers back overseas to manufacturers to be refilled.

The National Retail Federation reported October sales were the highest in three months. The Toy Industry Association reported healthy sales figures up by 6.2 percent, an increase of $1 billion. Toy sales were driven by the “Star Wars” and “Minions” movies, whose toys came through the POLB.

Based on current projections for December, Long Beach expects to surpass seven million TEUs in 2015, which would be only the third time in its 104-year history. The other two times were in 2006 and 2007, when the Port of Long Beach reached 7.29 million and 7.31 million containers, respectively. Through 11 months of 2015, the Port was 5.5 percent ahead of the same period last year, and that’s despite the first quarter of the calendar year being negatively affected by congestion that hindered container movement on the docks.

More details on the cargo numbers are available at