Hanjin Shipping containers stacked up at the Port of Long Beach.

Hanjin Shipping containers stacked up at the Port of Long Beach. Photo by Ringo Chiu.

The Port of Long Beach recorded its best September yet in cargo container movement, while the neighboring Port of Los Angeles saw a slight uptick last month, officials announced this week.

Part of the reason for Long Beach’s 28.3 percent rise in container volume year-to-year was its recovery from South Korea-based Hanjin Shipping Co.’s bankruptcy filing in August 2016, said port spokesman Lee Peterson.

A total of 701,619 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were processed in Long Beach for September, which also resulted in the port’s best quarter ever, port officials said. The port saw its volume rise 15.9 percent over the same period last year.

Imports rose 29.5 percent in September to 366,298 TEUs, and exports rose 4.1 percent to 125,336 containers. Empty containers totaled 209,985 TEUs, up 46.4 percent.

“Simply put, we are having the best trade months in Port history,” Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum said in a statement. “Back-to-school merchandise was strong for us, and it looks like retailers are optimistic about the holiday season.”

For the Port of Los Angeles, empty containers drove up overall volumes last month due to trade policy changes impacting waste paper exports to China, port officials said.

However, imports decreased 0.07 percent to 388,670 TEUs compared to the same period last year. Exports also decreased 3.17 percent to 517,116 TEUs. Counting a 15.4 percent increase in empty container traffic, total container movement was 763,785 TEUs, a 2.15 percent increase compared to last September.

Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at snarayan@labusinessjournal.com or 323-556-8351. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.