Cargo volume got off to a flat start in the new year at the Port of Long Beach, with overall traffic dipping 1.4 percent to 528,884 container units in January compared to the same month last year, while imports rose 2 percent.
In January, imports were up to 279,415 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), exports fell 3.4 percent to 122,411 TEUs, and empties dropped 6.3 percent to 127,058 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers are sent overseas to be refilled with goods. Exports and empties typically slow ahead of the Lunar New Year, which this year was Jan. 31, because much of China and other countries in East Asia shut down for two weeks for the holiday.
Although January was slightly down, 2014 is expected to be busier than 2013, which was the third-busiest year in Port history with a total of 6.73 million TEUs.
"We look forward to continued progress in 2014, building on the performance of 2013. We expect to be back to peak cargo levels at the Port of Long Beach by 2015 or 2016,” said Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Acting Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Long Beach.
The Port of Long Beach continues to invest long term and is three years into a decade-long, $4 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.