Cargo traffic at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles has steadily increased over the summer, according to figures released Tuesday.

Long Beach port traffic rose 19 percent from June to August, and Los Angeles port traffic rose 11 percent in the same period. Traffic had been declining at both ports until June.

But traffic at both ports was significantly lower than it was the year before.

Last month, 493,339 cargo container units, or TEUs, moved through Long Beach terminals, compared with 572,256 TEUs in August 2008, down 13 percent compared with a year ago.

Meanwhile, the Port of Los Angeles last month moved 612,581 cargo containers compared with 757,068 containers a year ago. That's a 19 percent decline from August 2008.

The declines are less dramatic than they were at the beginning of the year, when both ports reported year-over-year drops of more than 30 percent.

On a statement posted on its Web site, the Port of Los Angeles noted that traffic was strong in August 2008, and that a year-to-year comparison showed the effects of the recession.

"August 2008 was just prior to the major decline in the U.S. economy," the port said in a statement on its web site. "Thus, the Port of Los Angeles benefited from an August 2008 peak shipping season, which was significantly muted in August 2009 due to the continued recession."

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