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Port Cargo Volumes Rise in August

Trade bounces back as 'peak season' begins

September 14, 2012




Cargo container volumes at the Port of Long Beach climbed in August, the start of the "peak season" when shipments begin arriving for the end-of-the-year holiday shopping season.

Imports were up 2.9 percent compared to the same period last year. Port terminals handled 274,977 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) of loaded inbound cargo last month compared to 267,198 TEUs in August 2011. The modest rise in August points to a slight recovery during peak season and the second half of the year.

Exports were up too in August, rising 5.7 percent to 128,225 TEUs compared to 121,277 TEUs a year ago.

Overall, container volume through the Port was up 1.4 percent in August. The total includes imports, exports and empty containers, which declined 4.9 percent. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers are sent overseas to be refilled with goods. With exports up, fewer empty containers moved back to Asia in August.

For the calendar year, overall container volumes at the Port are down 4.6 percent because of the continuing weakness in the economy, and the cutbacks in ship calls by several niche vessel operators at the end of 2011 and early 2012. Imports are down 4.6 percent and exports down 1.2 percent through August, compared to the same period a year ago.

The Port of Long Beach continues to invest long term. It is two years into a decade-long, $4.5 billion program to upgrade its facilities.

For the latest monthly cargo numbers click here.

For more details on the cargo numbers visit www.polb.com/stats.

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