February Container Volume Dips 15.2 Percent
Early Chinese New Year weighs down imports
March 14, 2012
Container trade volume at the Port of Long Beach dropped 15.2 percent overall in February compared to the same period a year ago. Imports were down 18.1 percent, and exports dipped 1.6 percent.
Port terminals handled 388,589 twenty-foot equivalent container units last month, compared to 458,336 TEUs in February 2011.
The drop in imports in February is partly attributable to the early Chinese New Year. Import volumes typically fall following the New Year as factories in Asia close for a week or more during the holidays. Last year, the New Year fell on February 3 and the slow down was felt in the latter part of the month and into early March. This year, the New Year fell on January 23, putting the entire slow down period in February.
Another factor was the launch early last year of several startup transpacific shipping lines, which have since withdrawn from Long Beach.
For February, import containers accounted for 191,475 TEUs compared to 233,660 TEUs in the same period last year. Export containers hit 120,006 TEUs compared to 121,929 TEUs in February 2011. Empty container moves were down 25 percent to 77,108 TEUs compared to 102,747 TEUs a year ago. Most empty containers are bound overseas.
For the latest monthly cargo numbers click here.
For more details on the cargo numbers visit www.polb.com/stats.