The Port of Long Beach has enjoyed the busiest October in its history, with volumes surging 15% over a year ago although it was the only the port’s fourth busiest month of the year as retail patterns change.
Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero said: “October used to be the industry’s busiest month of the year, with retailers preparing for Christmas.
“Now, with other popular shopping seasons like back-to-school, Halloween and Black Friday, ocean carriers are spreading shipments across more months to maximize the services we have developed to serve them.”
Inbound containers destined for retailers jumped 14% to 339,013 teu while export boxes decreased slightly, 0.5% to 126,150 teu.
Empty containers sent overseas to be refilled with goods increased 29% to 204,055 teu.
Through the first 10 months of the year, 6,234,930 teu have been moved through the port, a 9.5% increase over the same period in 2016.
Harbour Commission president Lou Anne Bynum stated: “By taking a long view of our finances and embarking on a US$4bn modernisation — the largest of any U.S. seaport — we’ve positioned the Port of Long Beach to be one of today’s most attractive, dependable gateways.”
“With two months left in 2017, we’re on track to have our best year ever.”
Neighbouring hub, the Port of Los Angeles is also enjoying a strong year, having handled 6.9m teu as of the end of September, an increase of 8.2% compared to the first nine months in 2016.