The Port of Los Angeles saw container cargo volume fall in July, a sharp contrast to a record-setting month at the port next door.

L.A. port officials reported Friday that about 699,130 containers moved through its terminals last month, down 2.5 percent from a year ago. Imports slipped 3.5 percent while exports fell 16.4 percent. Overall figures were boosted by an 11.2 percent increase in the number of empty containers that returned to overseas ports.

Through the first seven months of the year, container cargo volume is down compared to the same period last year. About 4.6 million containers have moved through the port so far this year, down 3.5 percent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, at the Port of Long Beach, the peak pre-holiday shopping season got off to a strong start last month with cargo container volumes up 18 percent over last year, making July the busiest month in the port’s 104-year history.

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