The US Port of Long Beach moved over 1.8 million TEUs in the first quarter of 2019, marking the port’s second-busiest January through March period.
The figure was achieved despite lingering trade uncertainty, the port said, adding that the volumes dropped by 4.7 percent compared to last year’s opening quarter.
“With warehouses full from shippers rushing to beat the looming threat of escalating tariffs, shipments slowed somewhat,” Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach Executive Director, said.
“It’s going to take some time for inventory to cycle to markets and for typical growth to resume.”
Marine terminals and dockworkers moved 552,821 TEUs in March, a 3.9 percent decrease compared to the same month a year ago. Imports were down 7.8 percent at 247,039 TEUs while exports were 7.7 percent lower, 131,436 TEUs. Empties shipped overseas rose 5.7 percent to 174,346 TEUs.
Port of Long Beach said that a slowing domestic economy will likely lead to a moderate uptick in container imports through 2019, following a robust year that was marked by record-high cargo growth amid a trade dispute with China.