Cargo surged upward in March at both the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles as the months-long congestion at West Coast ports eased.
Long Beach Port posted a 32 percent increase over the same month last year, making it the busiest March in the port’s history.
A total of 630,084 TEUs were moved through the port. Imports were recorded at 317,520 TEUs, a 42.1 percent increase from last year.
Exports decreased 17.3 percent to 127,337 TEUs. Empty containers increased 85.4 percent to 185,227 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers are sent overseas to be refilled with goods.
Additionally, March 2015 became the busiest month for containerized cargo since August 2013. Despite the strong month, cargo at the Port of Long Beach is down 3.3 percent for the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2014.
March containerized cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles increased 17.3 percent compared to the same period last year. The port handled a total of 791,863 TEUs, the second-highest month in the port’s history.
For the first three months of 2015, overall volumes (1,823,854 TEUs) are down 5 percent compared to the same period in 2014.
“The number of ships waiting at anchor has reduced significantly, labor levels are strong and our container terminals are extremely active. We continue to work on a series of initiatives to improve efficiencies throughout the supply chain. Next week, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach will co-host stakeholders to discuss additional solutions to further optimize the San Pedro Bay supply chain,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.
Imports at L.A. port increased 31.5 percent, from 327,497 TEUs in March 2014 to 430,898 TEUs in March 2015. Exports declined 22.5 percent when compared to last year’s figures reaching 145,536 TEUs in March 2015.
Combined, total loaded imports and exports increased 11.86 percent wehn compared to last year, reaching 576,434 TEUs in March 2015. Factoring in empties, which increased 34.7 percent, overall March 2015 volumes (791,863 TEUs) improved 17.3 percent, the port said.