Los Angeles Business Journal

Port Traffic Mixed

By James Rufus Koren Originally published October 15, 2012 at 2:55 p.m., updated October 15, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.

The Port of Los Angeles on Monday posted its best monthly numbers in two years. The neighboring Long Beach port reported a small decline in cargo traffic.

Terminals at the Los Angeles port handled about 745,000 cargo containers in September, up nearly 6 percent from the same month last year. That’s more cargo than in any single month last year, and the port’s best month since August 2010.

Exports in September were down 2.6 percent from the same month last year, but imports were up 3.4 percent and transfers of empty containers, which are shipped overseas in anticipation of more goods coming to the United States, rose 20 percent.

In Long Beach, cargo traffic dipped 2.9 percent in September, with a small increase in imports but a 2.8 percent drop in exports and 9.4 percent fewer empty container moves.

Those divergent numbers continue a trend seen through much of the year, with growing numbers in Los Angeles and shrinking ones in Long Beach.

Long Beach port officials say their numbers are down because they serve smaller carriers than Los Angeles, and many of those small carriers have made fewer calls this year.