Volumes surge in Los Angeles as container traffic falls in Long Beach

 21 May 2012 10.57am

  • Port of Los Angeles reports record April, while Long Beach sees box traffic drop 13 percent

The West Coast Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have reported vastly different traffic numbers for the month of April.

The Port of Los Angeles experienced its best ever April volumes, while container traffic in Long Beach dropped 13 percent last month compared to the same period a year ago.

Combined, the two ports, which constitute the largest seaport complex in the country, saw a year-on-year increase of 1.8 percent in April.

Analysts claim that the slowing Chinese economy and doubts over the strength of the US recovery were behind the slow month, according to the LA Times. However, analysts continue to forecast modest growth in trade for 2012.

Imports at the Port of Los Angeles grew by 16.7 percent in April over levels recorded in 2011 to 364,556 TEU, exports also rose 11.6 percent to 186,838 TEU.

“Any time we see more than 700,000 containers, it's a very good month for us,” commented Port of Los Angeles spokesman, Phillip Sanfield.

The Port of Long Beach handled a total of 461,911 TEU in April 2012, compared to the 531,090 TEU handled during the same period a year earlier.

Imports were down 13.8 percent to 232,963 TEU compared to the 270,107 TEU handled in April 2011, while exports were also down by 16.2 percent to 120,452 TEUs compared to 143,683 TEUs. The port said that the decrease in numbers is partly due to the elimination of several niche service lines that had called at the port last year.

The Port of Long Beach has announced that three new lines of vessels will begin calling at the port from Asia later this month. Combined, the three services are expected to add as much as 500,000 TEU through the remainder of the year.

  Cargo Volumes and Throughput, Containers, Ports