Los Angeles Business Journal

Long Beach Port Traffic Is Down

By James Rufus Koren Friday, December 16, 2011

The Port of Long Beach handled about 18 percent less cargo in November than it did the same month last year, the fifth straight month traffic has dipped year over year.

Port terminals imported and exported 460,000 shipping containers in November, down from about 560,000 the previous year. Imports, the largest segment of cargo traffic, fell about 16 percent, while exports fell 22 percent.

Port officials blame the flagging numbers both on cautious retailers that didn’t place big holiday orders for imported goods and on the loss of a major port tenant. California United Terminals, which represented about 10 percent of Long Beach’s total cargo traffic, moved from Long Beach to the neighboring Port of Los Angeles last year.

Despite the loss of California United, the port had reported traffic growth in the first half of the year, but the past five months have put the port in negative territory. The port is on pace to handle at least 3 percent less cargo overall this year than last year.