Cargo container traffic slowed at the Port of Long Beach in April as consumers continued to limit purchases and shippers shuffled trade from the West Coast to seaports on the East and Gulf coasts.
Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 656,049 TEU last month, down 20.1 per cent from April 2022, which was the port’s busiest April on record.
Imports declined 21.8 per cent to 313,444 TEU, while exports increased a narrow 0.6 per cent to 122,663 TEU.
Empty containers moving through the port decreased 26.2 per cent to 219,943 TEU.
The port has moved 2,377,375 TEU during the first four months of 2023, down 27.5 per cent from the same period in 2022.
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“The unprecedented consumer demand we saw at the height of COVID-19 has diminished and cargo flows are now closer to pre-pandemic levels,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.
“We expect slow growth in the second half of 2023, as retailers continue to clear surplus inventory from their warehouses.”
“Our facilities, dockworkers, marine terminal operators and staff continue to make this the premier gateway for trans-Pacific goods movement,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman.
“We do expect cargo volumes to rebound eventually as shippers seek out the top-notch customer service of the Port of Choice,” Weissman added.
The trade decline in April follows the trade decline in March with the shift of goods twoards the East Coast continuing to impact the port’s business.
In early May, the Port of Long Beach unveiled plans for an offshore wind facility project aimed at helping the country in its green objectives in the coming years.