Cargo container volumes surged through California’s Port of Long Beach in July, with an 18.4 percent increase over the same month in 2014, making July a record month in the port’s 104-year history.
The port’s terminals moved 690,244 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in July. Imports jumped to 345,912 TEUs, a 16.2 percent increase from last July. Exports increased 15.9 percent to 143,875 TEUs despite the stronger U.S. dollar, which has made U.S. exports relatively expensive overseas.
Previously, the port’s best year was 2007, just before the recession of 2008. Now, after a slow start at the beginning of 2015 due to a labor dispute between ILWU and PMA, the gains in July mark the fourth time in the last five months that cargo totals have climbed higher at Long Beach.
”These exceptional results are great news for Long Beach and the nation’s economy,” said Port Chief Executive Officer Jon Slangerup.
”We’ve worked closely with all of our stakeholders to prepare for our peak season, which is off to a great start with very strong back-to-school shipments and our best export month in a year. We applaud our partners for their role in these impressive results.”
July makes the fourth time in five months that the Port has seen import gains – July (18.4 percent), May (4.8 percent), April (7.3 percent), and March (42.1 percent) – an indication that the U.S. economy is growing, and the stronger dollar is giving retailers the confidence to order more products from overseas to stock their shelves for consumers, the port says. The National Retail Federation foresees at least 3 to 5 percent gains for the back-to-school and early holiday shopping seasons.
Through the first seven months of 2015, Long Beach’s total cargo was up 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year, imports were up 1.4 percent, but exports were down 10.9 percent.