Container volumes at the Port of Long Beach were 1.9 percent lower in August compared with the same month last year, port officials said..
An estimated total of almost 680,000 20-foot-equivalent units were moved through the port last month. Imports declined 3.6 percent to slightly above 343,000 TEUs.
Exports increased, inching up 1.9 percent to about 119,500 TEUs. Empty containers sent overseas dipped 1.1 percent to nearly 217,000 TEUs.
August 2017 was one of the busiest months in the Port of Long Beach’s 107-year history. At the time, it was the third-busiest month ever.
However, the mark has been exceeded three times since then.
Long Beach’s volumes through the first eight months of the year stand at close to 5.321 million.
The figure is 9.4 percent above the pace of 2017, the port’s best year ever.
“Our port’s decline in cargo over the last two months is in large part due to a realignment of ocean carrier alliance services and port calls,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “Another factor is higher tariffs by the United States and China. Thus far, that appears to have helped increase traffic, as shippers act to beat duties imposed on goods this summer.”
“The higher container volumes earlier this year showed the ability of international trade to bring prosperity and jobs to the U.S. and world economies,” Board of Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue said.
The Port of Long Beach is among the world’s busiest seaports, a hub for trans-Pacific trade.
With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the port handles an estimated $194 billion in annual trade. It provides or supports hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.
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