Cargo shipments at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) were up 6.1 percent for the first three months of 2016, compared to the same quarter last year, according to a release issued by the port on Thursday. Boosted by substantial gains in January and February, the quarter was the port's best since 2007.
Volumes in March of last year climbed 32 percent over the same month in 2014, thanks to recovery from cargo backlogs early last year. March 2016's container volumes were down 26.2 percent, according to the release, due to the Lunar New Year when factories in East Asia typically close for one to two weeks.
“Overall, we are pleased with these results,” stated POLB CEO Jon Slangerup. “The uneven global economy, industry financial pressures, weak U.S. export demand and the introduction of megasized container vessels to West Coast ports have created dynamic conditions for the maritime industry that will continue to play out over the coming year. Nevertheless, our value proposition, being the fastest and most cost-effective supply route from Asia to America’s consumer markets, continues to define Long Beach and Southern California as the multimodal gateway of choice for our shipping customers.”
In March, 464,855 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved through Long Beach marine terminals. Imports fell 34.6 percent to 207,635 TEUs and exports were flat at 127,210 TEUs. Empty containers, which are sent back overseas to be filled with goods, decreased 29.8 percent to 130,010 TEUs, according to the release.
"As the Green Port of the Future, Long Beach is committed to creating an even more efficient and environmentally sustainable supply chain," stated Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán. "We're confident that our port will continue to attract cargo and meet the challenges brought by the new generation of megaships."
With its ongoing $4 billion program to modernize its facilities this decade with self-sustaining, environmentally conscious operations, the POLB is investing in capital and service improvements to bring long-term environmentally sustainable growth and maintain its value proposition.
For more information on the cargo numbers, click here.