The Port of Long Beach’s peak shipping season has started slowly due to overstocked warehouses and a consumer shift towards travel and summer activities.
During the past month, dockworkers and terminal operators at the port moved a total of 682,312 TEU, marking a significant 15.4 per cent decline in comparison to August 2022.
Specifically, the port saw a matching 15.4 per cent decrease in imports, accounting for 325,436 TEU, while exports registered a notable 23.1 per cent drop, amounting to 93,402 TEU.
Additionally, the movement of empty containers through the port witnessed a 12.5 per cent decrease, totaling 263,474 TEU.
Port of Long Beach CEO, Mario Cordero, acknowledged the prevailing circumstances: “We anticipated a modest peak season as our cargo numbers continue to stabilise at pre-pandemic levels.”
Cordero emphasized the port’s commitment to bolstering its competitiveness through investments in both digital and physical infrastructure projects, ensuring the efficient movement of goods for the foreseeable future.
“We are collaborating with our industry partners to grow market share while moving goods reliably and sustainably,” added Long Beach Harbor Commission President, Bobby Olvera Jr.
“We intend to close the year on a positive note that focuses on our efforts to improve cargo flow and secure our position as the premier gateway for trans-Pacific trade.”
In the broader context, the port has encountered a cumulative decline in TEU moved, with a total of 4,993,237 TEU handled during the first eight months of 2023.
This represents a 24.4 per cent reduction when compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
The port noted that cargo flows in the current year have been tracking closely with pre-pandemic levels, harking back to August 2019 when the Port of Long Beach handled over 4.9 million TEU.
In August, the US Department of Homeland Security granted $2.72 million to the Port of Long Beach to improve security and ensure the safe and efficient transportation of goods during emergency situations.