The Port of Long Beach (POLB) announced its busiest May since 2006 today, with cargo traffic increasing by six percent over May 2014.
The announcement comes on the heels of the busiest April in nine years and is the third consecutive month of growth and the busiest month since October 2007, according to a release issued today.
POLB Media Relations Lead Lee Peterson said last month that the Long Beach port is expecting an overall increase in its traffic this year and attributes the spike in activity over the past three months to be largely due to “working through so much of the cargo [from the winter] that we were backed up on.”
The release cited a stronger retail market and the attraction of new services as other reasons for cargo growth, which is up 1.1 percent overall for the first five months of 2015.
According to a Port of Los Angeles (POLA) news release, cargo traffic at its port increased by less than one percent in May, an increase over the 6.1 percent decrease in cargo flow for April, compared to April 2014.
Ships often choose between the POLB and POLA based on the availability of open terminals, regardless of their planned destination, said Peterson.
This results in a bit of back-and-forth between the ports, so monthly and year-to-year numbers between the two ports are sometimes reflective of last minute decisions by ship captains to load and unload cargo faster.
“Although we are separate and competing [ports], ships could go through either port” due to the ports’ close geographical proximity to one another, Peterson said.
The POLB release listed a total of 635,250 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TUEs) were moved through the port in May. Meanwhile, imports amounted to 327,317 TEUs, increasing 4.8 percent over May 2014.