Reduced economic activity in Asia associated with the Lunar New Year contributed to lower February container volumes at the Port of Long Beach.
Overall, traffic totaled 498,311 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a decline of 11.2 percent compared to the same month last year, the highest-volume February in Port history. Cargo in February 2016 ballooned 35.9 percent year-over-year.
The Lunar New Year holiday began Jan. 28, almost two weeks earlier than in 2016. The Lunar New Year typically results in slower trade since businesses in China — the world’s No. 2 economy and the Port’s primary trading partner — close for a week or more to observe the holiday. The impact on the Port is seen two weeks afterwards, accounting for the time it takes vessels to cross the Pacific.
Import containers were down 15.6 percent in February to 249,759 TEUs. Exports were slightly lower, 119,811 TEUs, off 2.6 percent. Empty containers sent from Long Beach docks totaled 128,742 TEUs, a decrease of 9.7 percent.
More than 1 million containers have moved through the Port of Long Beach in the first two months of 2017.
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles $180 billion in trade annually, supporting hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.
For the latest monthly cargo numbers, click here.
More detailed cargo numbers are at www.polb.com/stats.
Photo caption: Dockworkers move containers at the Port of Long Beach's Pier J in February 2017.