Port of Long Beach (POLB) terminals saw a dramatic 37% increase in cargo in February 2013 compared to same month last year.
The terminals moved 36.6 percent more containers compared to the same month one year ago ― including a nearly 46 percent surge in imports and a 17.2 percent jump in exports.
February’s total was 530,967 TEUs (or twenty-foot equivalent container units). There were 279,144 TEUs of imports, the highest volume of import containers for a February since 2007. Exports rose to 140,626 TEUs. Empties were up 44.2 percent to 111,197 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers are sent overseas to be refilled with goods.
Trans-Pacific trade this time of year is often affected by the Lunar New Year holiday, which can slow goods production in many Asian countries that export to the U.S. This year, the holiday was in mid-February and its effects are more likely to be reflected in March statistics.
Also cargo increases in recent months are in part due to the more frequent use of larger ships and the addition of service lines to Long Beach. In the latter part of last year, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM, two of the largest ocean carriers in the world, established exclusive hubs at the Port of Long Beach.