The docks continued to be busy at the Port of Long Beach in October as cargo volume rose 6.3 percent compared to the same month last year, making for the best October in eight years. The gains also come on the heels of the top quarter in the Port’s 104-year history.
Strong export growth of 6.5 percent in October buoyed the Port’s overall numbers as shippers turned to the Port of Long Beach for reliable service. A slight decline in imports indicated that retailers of clothing, electronics and other consumer goods apparently stocked up early for the rapidly approaching shopping season that starts with “Black Friday” — the day after Thanksgiving.
“We had an early peak in July and August, with much of the inventory for the holiday shopping season coming early. On the export side, we’ve seen increases for the past two months, as shipping lines choose Long Beach for its reliability and service,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup. “Year to date, we’re up more than 5 percent, so 2015 is shaping up to be one of our best years ever.”
A total of 619,983 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) moved through the Port in October. Imports were down 0.8 percent to 307,995 TEUs. Exports increased to 128,308 TEUs. Empty containers continued to rise, climbing 20.8 percent to 183,681 TEUs. Empties are sent back overseas to be refilled with goods.
The National Retail Federation has forecast that retail sales in November and December would increase 3.7 percent from last year. Through the first 10 months of 2015, Long Beach cargo was up 5.4 percent overall compared to the same period last year. Volume is reaching pre-recession levels of trade and demonstrating the ability of Long Beach industry stakeholders to handle high amounts of cargo.
With an ongoing $4 billion program to modernize its facilities, the Port of Long Beach continues to build the Port of the Future, by investing in capital and service improvements that will bring long-term, environmentally sustainable growth.
For all the latest monthly cargo numbers, click here.
For more details on the cargo numbers, please visit www.polb.com/stats.
Photo: Mayor Robert Garcia, Harbor Commissioner Tracy Egoscue and Port Environmental Planning Director Heather Tomley at the event.