Port of Long Beach sets new high-water mark for container traffic

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The number of containers the Port of Long Beach moved in July was an all-time monthly high for the Southern California seaport.

   The peak season shipping is resulting record monthly container volumes to the Port of Long Beach.
   In July, the Southern California port handled a total of 720,310 TEUs of containerized cargo, the most that have ever moved through Long Beach’s terminals in a single month, surpassing the previous high mark of 703,652, set in August 2015.
   “These numbers are great for Long Beach and good news for the economy,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a prepared statement.
   Including last month’s record volumes, cargo traffic has increased for five consecutive months in Long Beach, and in six of the first seven months of 2017, according to port figures. Volume is up 6.4 percent for the calendar year compared to 2016.
   “Given the unprecedented change in the industry, we are pleased to see shippers choosing Long Beach,” Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum said.
   The number of overall container shipments through Long Beach was 13.1 percent higher in July compared to the same month in 2016, according to port data. Imports jumped 16.3 percent to 378,820 TEUs, which was also an all-time monthly record.
   Additionally, the recent wave of imports helped bring the empty containers moved through the POLB up 27.7 percent to 215,394 TEUs.
   The news wasn’t all good, however. Exports slipped by double digits last month, falling 11.7 percent to 126,098 TEUs.
   For the fiscal year to date, Long Beach has handled 5.7 million TEUs through the first 10 months of FY 2017, a 1.4 percent increase from the prior fiscal year. The port’s fiscal runs from October through September.
   For the calendar year, Long Beach moved 4.1 million TEUs through July, a 6.4 percent jump from the same seven months last year.
   By comparison, the adjoining Port of Los Angeles, the only North American seaport busier than Long Beach, also saw record monthly volumes in July, handling 796,804 TEUs last month. For the calendar year to date, Los Angeles has seen 5.3 million TEUs, a 9.5 percent jump over 2016’s numbers, according to port data.
   Last month’s increased container numbers for both Southern California seaports come during the start of peak shipping period, when overseas manufacturers send goods to U.S. retailers so that they may build up inventories ahead of the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.

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