Cargo volume climbed a modest 2.5 percent at the Port of Long Beach in November compared to the same month one year ago, as a sharp decline in shipments of empty boxes nearly offset solid gains in both imports and exports of containerized goods.
A total of 569,599 TEUs (or twenty-foot equivalent container units) moved through Long Beach in November. Imports increased 6.5 percent to 296,638 TEUs. Exports rose 9.9 percent to 151,950 TEUs – the Port’s second best total for exports in 2013.
Empties dropped 12.7 percent to 121,011 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, nearly all of the empties are sent overseas to be refilled with goods. Most months, the total of exports plus empties is nearly equal to imports. So in November, when exports rose sharply, empties declined.
For the first 11 months of calendar 2013, cargo container volume is up 12.1 percent – including 14.4 percent more imports, 10.8 percent more exports and 8.6 percent more empties.
Traditionally, August through October is the “peak season” for ocean-borne imports, as retailers prepare for a rise in buying as the end-of-the-year holidays approach. The November imports are among the first products that are destined for store shelves in the New Year.
For the latest monthly cargo numbers, click here.
For more details on the cargo numbers, visit www.polb.com/stats.