US West Coast Ports in Growth Mode

US West Coast Ports in Growth Mode

Cargo rose at the Port of Long Beach by 6% in May, the third consecutive month of growth, the busiest month since October 2007, and the busiest May for Southern California’s port since 2006.

A total of 635,250 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containerized cargo were moved through the Port in May. Imports numbered 327,317 TEUs, a 4.8% increase from the same month last year. Exports decreased 7.4% to 135,855 TEUs. Empty containers rose 22.6% to 172,078 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers are sent overseas to be refilled with goods.

Through the first five months of 2015, cargo is up 1.1% overall at the Port of Long Beach.

May was the busiest month in nearly four years at the Port of Oakland. The port handled 213,260 cargo containers last month. That was the most since it reported volume of 216,276 containers in August 2011.

The total volume of import, export and empty containers was up 3.8 percent in May from a year ago. It was the third straight month of year-over-year volume increases reported in Oakland.

Moving further north up the US Pacific coast, the Puget Sound’s two largest ports, Seattle and Tacoma, part of the Seaport Alliance, marked a moderate 2% rise in container volumes, despite a 5% drop in vessel calls. The growth in volumes is attributed to larger boxships calling at the ports.

Breakbulk volumes were down 3% to 117,305 metric tons, with grain exports falling 3% to 3,426,768 metric tons. Auto imports grew 5% to 75,254 units

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