The Port of Long Beach’s TEU traffic fell by 5.7% in 2019 amid the US-China trade war, new technology and shipping routes.
The figures were announced by the Port’s Executive Director Mario Cordero at the annual State of the Port address, attended by 750 industry partners.
Despite the decline, 2019 was the Port’s second best year on record. Imports slid 8.3% and exports 3.3%, while empties decreased by 2.8%.
In his address, Cordero said there would be “better days ahead” with the trade war potentially nearing a conclusion in the shape of a new deal between the US and China.
However, he also insisted that the Port needs to find new ways of doing business and working together with partners in the future.
“At the end of the day, we need to be ready for whatever may come,” Cordero said.
“We need to compete, we need to innovate, we need to lead. And most of all, we need to collaborate.”
He also pointed touched upon a series of projects that the Port is running, including the final phase of the construction of the Long Beach Container Terminal.
This will create the most environmentally-friendly and technologically advanced container terminal in North America once it is finished in 2021.
Over the next decade, the Port is also looking to invest approximately $1 billion in rail improvements to speed the flow of goods across the country while cutting road traffic.