Tuesday, January 19, 2016

POLB: Annual TEUs Up 5 Percent

By Mark Edward Nero

Propelled by six consecutive months of rising cargo volumes in the final two quarters of 2015, the Port of Long Beach says it recovered from systemic congestion and cargo diversion in the first quarter to deliver one of its strongest results on record last year.

For only the third time in its 105-year history, Long Beach topped seven million TEUs during the year, according to newly-released data.

Cargo volume climbed 5.4 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, as the Southern California seaport and its industry partners transformed the challenges of congestion at the start of last year into a scene of free-flowing cargo and record setting months.

In December, the port achieved 5.1 percent overall growth, compared to December 2014. Imports increased seven percent to 296,002 TEUs, while exports fell 4.1 percent to 126,118 TEUs. The number of empty containers moved rose 9.5 percent to 174,328 units during the month.

For calendar year 2015, a total of 7,192,066 TEUs moved through the harbor. Imports rose 3.1 percent to 3,625,263 TEUs, while exports dropped 4.9 percent to 1,525,560. Empty containers rose 20.2 percent to 2,041,243 TEUs.

Playing a big part in the growth were record cargo volumes achieved at Long Beach during July and August, resulting in the port’s biggest quarter in its history: more than two million TEUs moved through the port in the third quarter.

“We’re gratified to see the business growth – we worked diligently over these past 12 months to recover from a very challenging start to the year, resulting in record volume and productivity gains and the strong and steady return of diverted cargo,” Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup said. “We credit terminal operators, labor, shipping lines, cargo owners and our local community with pulling together to turn things around.”

Slangerup is expected to present more information about the port’s 2015 accomplishments and plans for 2016 during the annual State of the Port address, scheduled for Thurs., Jan. 21.

More information about the event can be found at www.polb.com/StateOfThePort. More details on the cargo numbers is available at www.polb.com/stats.