Lingering congestion at West Coast seaports drove down container cargo by 18.8 percent in January at Long Beach compared to the same month last year.
Overall, 429,490 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containerized cargo moved through the Port of Long Beach in January. Imports numbered 213,667 TEUs, a 23.5 percent decline from January 2014. Exports slid 19.6 percent to 98,462 TEUs. Empty containers declined 7.6 percent to 117,361 TEUs.
The dramatic drop in cargo volume is due to congestion and contract issues plaguing the West Coast ports recently. Marine terminal management and longshore labor representatives have been negotiating a new contract for dock work for more than nine months. The Port of Long Beach is not part of the bargaining process.
“We have been strongly urging the two parties to come to an agreement on a new contract, so that we can clear the backlog of cargo on the docks and the ships anchored off the coast,” said Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup. “We are encouraged by recent progress through Federal mediation and are hopeful that the contract will be signed soon, so that the Port complex can focus on returning operations to a normal pace.”
Last year, against which 2015 is being compared, was the third-busiest year in Port history with a total of 6.82 million TEUs.
With an ongoing $4 billion program to modernize its facilities, the Port of Long Beach continues to invest in long-term, environmentally sustainable growth.
For all the latest monthly cargo numbers, click here.
For more details on the cargo numbers, please visit www.polb.com/stats.