Container cargo numbers improved slightly at the Port of Long Beach in May, rising 0.8 percent compared to the same month last year when the docks were still busily catching up after several months of congestion, the port revealed June 14.
But even with a less than one percent gain, Long Beach’s cargo volumes hovered near all-time peak levels, and May’s 640,566 TEUs qualified the month as the second-busiest May in the Port’s 105-year history.
Imports were up one percent to 330,639 TEUs last month, exports were up two percent to 138,594 TEUs, and empties were flat at 171,333 TEUs, off just 0.4 percent compared to the same month last year, according to port data.
The year-to-date total is down 1.5 percent compared to the first five months of 2015.
The port has said its numbers are in line with trends observed by the National Retail Federation, which reports that inventories remain high for US stores and warehouses, muting demand for oceangoing trade.
The NRF has noted that year-over-year comparisons to 2015 are difficult to make, given the unusual patterns last year when the industry ramped up activity following the congestion at the start of that year.
For the fiscal year to date, POLB terminals have moved 4.51 million TEUs, a 1.4 percent bump over the 4.45 millions TEUs during FY 2015. The port’s fiscal year begins each October.
The latest monthly cargo volumes and more details on the cargo numbers are available at www.polb.com/stats