Californian shipping terminals were hubs of activity over February, with the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles setting new records for the month.
At the Port of Long Beach, 661,790 TEUs moved through the port, a 32.8 per cent increase compared to last February. It was the first time Long Beach terminals have handled more than 600,000 cargo containers in the month.
Imports came in at 342,247 TEUs over February, while the port handled 130,916 outbound containers, up 9.3 per cent on the previous year. The flourishing import market drove up the need for empty containers overseas, with the port sending 188,628 empty TEUs over the month.
Over 725,000 TEUs were processed at the Port of Los Angeles in February, the busiest February in the port’s 111-year history. Overall volumes jumped 16 per cent compared to February 2017, while the combined total for the first two months of 2018 is up 5.6 per cent on last year, which was the port’s best year to date.
February 2018 imports at Los Angeles came in at 383,089 TEUs, while exports increased 1.4 percent to 157,591 TEUs. Empty containers increased 7.8 percent to 184,378 TEUs.
Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka said the surge in February volumes was due in part to the Lunar New Year, which fell later this year. Shippers moved cargo ahead of celebrations in Asia and thus March volumes were expected to be lighter this year.