The Port of Long Beach has recorded business in the first quarter of 2019 that falls below its total for Q1 last year.
Container volumes moved through the port in Q1 remain high at 1.8 million TEU, but this represents a downturn compared to 2018. Long Beach chalked up a record Q1 and yearly throughput in 2018, moving 8.1 million TEU in total.
The latest figures from Long Beach are in line with industry expectations for a return to modest growth in 2019. Fitch Ratings has released its predictions, projecting that cargo volumes will return to match US GDP at sub-3% expansion.
In a recent Port Technology technical paper, Dr Noel Hacegaba of the Port of Long Beach makes the case for ports becoming logistics clusters
Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach Executive Director, commented: “With warehouses full from shippers rushing to beat the looming threat of escalating tariffs, shipments have slowed somewhat.
“It’s going to take some time for inventory to cycle to markets and for typical growth to resume.”
Terminals at Long Beach moved 552,821 TEUs in March this year, down 3.9% year on year.
Long Beach Harbour Commission President, Tracy Egoscue, said: “After last year’s historic result, we’re expecting modest growth this year, but it’s always important to look to the future.
“That means positioning our port for sustained long-term success with a multibillion-dollar capital improvement plan, designed to provide customers with cargo movement that is predictable, reliable, efficient and fast.”