Rising imports fuelled higher container traffic at the Port of Long Beach in June, 2016, which led to a 3.4% overall volume increase over the same month in 2015.
The port handled more than 600,000 TEU during the month. Of those, more than 313,000 were inbound containers, which is a gain of 5.5% year-over-year.
Exports were flat for the month at more than 128,000 TEU, which was 0.1% lower than June, 2015.
Empties edged up to over 161,000 TEU, which is a 2.2% increase. Year-to-date total volume is down 0.6%, compared to the first six months of 2015.
US warehouse inventories have been lingering at high levels since 2014, contributing to a sluggish ocean trade environment. However, US West Coast ports have been experiencing import gains in recent months.
Jon Slangerup, CEO of the Port of Long Beach, said: “Our improving cargo volumes reflect the confidence that customers continue to have in the Port of Long Beach.
“This is an encouraging sign despite soft consumer demand, high inventory levels and an evolving maritime industry as shipping lines continue to consolidate vessel services.”
US Gross Domestic Product growth in Q1, 2016 has been revised up to 1.1% from a previously estimated 0.8%.
In the last two years, a slow Q1 has been followed by a rebounding Q2. Economic experts have suggested growth could top 2% in Q2, 2016.
Lori Ann Guzmán, President of the Harbor Commission, said: “As the July-to-October peak shipping season arrives, we’re going to continue providing world-class service to our stakeholders.
“These results are a reminder that Long Beach is the fastest gateway to American consumer markets for trade from Asia.”
With an ongoing US$4 billion programme to modernise its facilities this decade, the Port of Long Beach is building the Port of the Future by investing in capital and service improvements that will bring long-term, environmentally sustainable growth.