Container volumes at the port rose steeply in November with imports up 20.2 percent & exports up 24.6 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
Port terminals handled 555,513 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) overall, an increase of 20.8 percent from November 2011.
The rise in container traffic came as more ocean carriers added services to Long Beach in recent months, including CMA CGM and MSC, two of the world's largest container shipping companies.
Import container traffic rose to 278,534 TEUs, the highest November volume in five years. Export container traffic rose to 138,312 TEUs, the second highest November volume in five years. Empty container volumes rose 18.4 percent from a year ago to 138,667 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers are sent overseas to be refilled with goods.
After mostly declining traffic in the middle of the year, the late boost has helped bring Port cargo volumes closer to 2011 levels. For the first 11 months of the year, imports are virtually flat compared to the same period a year ago, down 0.3 percent, and exports are up 2 percent. Overall container volumes are down 1.2 percent through November due mainly to a decline in empty container traffic, which is down 5.9 percent in the same period.
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.