Exports Up, Overall Cargo Volumes Down, at Port of Long Beach
August exports surged 14.8 percent through the Port of Long Beach compared to the same month in 2015, but lower imports drove overall volumes down.
Harbor terminals moved 641,029 twenty-foot equivalent units in August, an 8.9 percent year-over-year decrease. Of those, 321,625 TEUs were import containers, which were down 10.2 percent. Exports numbered 159,247 TEUs. Empties accounted for 160,157 containers, 22.5 percent fewer than August 2015. That month set an all-time record for Port of Long Beach cargo.
Currently, shipping lines are continuing to consolidate service routes to optimize vessel utilization during the holiday peak season and in anticipation of the new, planned ocean carrier alliances. Other factors impacting port container volumes are domestic retail inventories that remain high even as strong consumer spending continues to power the nation’s economy. The port’s August throughput was not affected by Hanjin’s filing for court receivership on August 31.
For the calendar year, overall cargo volumes are down 2.9 percent at the Port of Long Beach, compared to the first eight months of 2015.
The port of Long Beach’s volume trends have been down throughout 2016 even as the performance of its neighboring Port of Los Angeles has been on the upswing this year. July imports at the Port of Los Angeles climbed five percent compared to the previous year and year-to-date volumes increased 4.75 percent compared to 2015 for the first seven months of 2016.
Port of Los Angeles officials have said they expect a busy holiday shipping season while the Port of Long Beach reported that “the traditional holiday peak season is off to a slow start.”
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