The Port of Long Beach has had its best quarter since 2007 in terms of container throughput, owing to a strong import performance.
Containers arriving in Long Beach with goods bound for US consumers jumped by 20.2% in March compared to the same month in 2016.
Although exports decreased by 5.3% to 120,435 teu with shipments to overseas markets affected by the strong US dollar, the port moved 505,382 teu last month, an 8.7% increase.
The Port of Long Beach actually had a modest boost in cargo during the first quarter of the year, with overall throughput increasing 1.5%.
All segments of containerized cargo grew year-over-year in the opening quarter of 2017, as imports climbed 2.1%, exports 0.4% and empties 1.5%.
Lori Ann Guzmán, president of the Long Beach Harbour Commission, said: “We’re happy to see these gains during the traditionally slow period of the year.
“We see a lot of upside for the remainder of 2017 as we expand our partnership with the world’s second-largest line, MSC, add new business and strengthen our relationships with our partners.”
Port of Long Beach Interim Chief Executive Duane Kenagy stated: “The rise in imports coming through Long Beach shows that consumers are feeling optimistic.
“Since their spending drives more than two-thirds of the economy, this is a great indicator for the jobs that depend on our Port as we head into the busiest trading months of the year.”
Meanwhile, West Coast neighbour, the Port of Los Angeles, managed a 29% jump in March cargo volumes, helped by a 30% leap in imports and a 20% rise in export volumes.
A post Luna New Year surge of cargo from Asia and US retailers shipping merchandise ahead of the new vessel alliance deployments, which began at the start of April, were also cited as contributory factors by the port authority.
Over the first quarter of 2017, cargo volumes increased by 10% compared to the previous year at the Port of Los Angeles.