Tuesday, October 18, 2016

POLB Cargo Volumes Drop; Hanjin Blamed

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Long Beach’s overall container volumes declined 16.6 percent year-over-year in September 2016, as the effects of the Hanjin bankruptcy protection filing reached the port.

Longshore workers at the Long Beach port moved 546,805 TEUs last month according to port data, including 282,945 TEUs in imports. This was down 15 percent from September 2015, a month that capped off the port’s best quarter ever.

Also during the month, exports dropped to 120,383 TEUs, a decrease of 4.2 percent, according to data. Empties were 27.2 percent lower at 143,476 TEUs.

Hanjin filed for receivership Aug. 31 in its home country of South Korea, and as a result, the company’s the global supply chain was disrupted, with many of the carrier’s ships becoming stranded at sea for a time, forbidden to berth at ports.

POLB officials said the number of containers handled last month was affected not only by reduced calls by Hanjin-operated ships, but also by the absence of Hanjin containers on vessels operated by fellow CKYHE Alliance members. Hanjin Shipping containers account for about 12.3 percent of the port’s total containerized volume.

Cargo volumes are down 4.6 percent for the current calendar year to date in Long Beach. They were also down two percent for the calendar year that ended Sept. 30, falling from 7.08 million TEUs in FY 2015 to 6.94 million in FY 2016.

The port’s latest monthly TEU data can been seen at http://www.polb.com/economics/stats/latest_teus.asp.