Congestion at the docks dragged down cargo volume at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles for a second consecutive month in February, according to figures released Tuesday.
About 413,000 containers moved through the Port of Long Beach last month, a 20 percent drop from the same month a year ago. The volume of imported cargo fell about 25 percent while imports slipped 23 percent.
At the Port of Los Angeles, cargo volumes also dropped, though less dramatically. About 502,600 containers moved through the port last month, a 10.2 percent slide from a year ago. Imports fell 10.7 percent while exports declined 10.3 percent.
Port officials blamed the double-digit drops on a backlog of shipping containers that grew over the past several months as activity slowed at West Coast ports amid contentious labor negotiations. Contract talks between shipping companies and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents dockworkers, ended Feb. 21 after nearly shutting down ports up and down the West Coast.
In January, container cargo dropped 18.8 percent at the Port of Long Beach and nearly 23 percent at the Port of Los Angeles.
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