The tide is turning at the Port of Long Beach as its L.A. neighbor’s fortunes continue to rise.
Long Beach has begun to rebound from last year’s bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd., one of its former primary carriers and terminal operators. Port officials said the number of cargo containers rose 6 percent last month from December levels and were up 8 percent from a year ago. Year over year, 2016 recorded a 5.8 percent decrease.
The Port of Los Angeles, meanwhile, had its busiest January ever, posting a 17.4 percent increase in the number of cargo containers compared with the same month a year before. That followed a record-setting 2016 that was the busiest year in the port’s 110-year history.
The two ports form the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, the ninth-largest port operation in the world and the largest in the United States, handling about 40 percent of U.S. cargo container imports.
Port of Long Beach officials said new ocean carrier alliances and the Aug. 31 bankruptcy filing of South Korea’s Hanjin, the previous majority shareholder of the port’s Pier T terminal operator, led to the cargo decline. After traffic came to a virtual standstill last year at the 385-acre Pier T, run by Total Terminals International, volume rebounded to lead the port’s growth in January.
Terminal Investment Ltd., a subsidiary of Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., purchased Hanjin’s majority stake in the terminal operator.
– Kat Speed