Cargo movement at the Port of Long Beach set a new record for the month of June while neighboring Port of Los Angeles saw a slight decrease in volume.
For Long Beach, June marked the “best month ever” as trade increased 14.2 percent compared to the same month last year. Imports grew 14.5 percent to 384,095 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), exports numbered 135,168 TEUs, up 14.3 percent and empty containers shipped overseas to be refilled with goods totaled 232,926 TEUs, a 13.6 percent increase, port officials said.
Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum said in a statement that the port anticipates more growth in the coming months as retailers replenishing their stocks for the holidays.
Both the ports are major trade destinations for goods coming in from the Asia-Pacific region. Mario Cordero, the executive director at the Port of Long Beach addressed the spiraling trade tensions.
“Certainly the escalating trade tensions have everyone in the industry concerned, but we’re going to continue to provide excellent customer service and fulfill our mission of facilitating commerce,” he said.
Neighboring Port of Los Angeles, saw June overall cargo movement decrease 1.1 percent. Imports increase by 2.9 percent to 382,964 TEUs compared to the same month last year and exports increased 1.4 percent to 147,563 TEUs. Empty containers fell 9.7 percent to 192,613 TEUs.
Port Executive Director Gene Seroka said he expected the latter half of 2018 to see similar declines in cargo volume, a key reason being the uncertainty around trade negotiations.
“Looking forward, a continued shuffling of alliance services in the San Pedro Bay, coupled with potential impacts from recently imposed tariffs, provide a level of uncertainty and potentially softened trade flows through our port during the second half of 2018,” he said in a statement.
Manufacturing, retail and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at email@example.com or 323-556-8351. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.