“Simply put, we are having the best trade months in port history,” said Lou Anne Bynum, Harbor Commission President at the Port of Long Beach, where cargo volume records continue to be broken. The port moved more containers last month than any September in its history.
“Back-to-school merchandise was strong for us, and it looks like retailers are optimistic about the holiday season,” Bynum said.
The 701,619 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) processed in Long Beach for September — up 28.3 percent —resulted in the port’s best quarter ever. In the third quarter (July, August and September), the Port of Long Beach handled 2,114,306 TEUs, as volumes swelled 15.9 percent over the same period last year.
Imports increased 29.5 percent in September to 366,298 TEUs. Exports rose 4.1 percent, to 125,336 containers. Empty containers moving out of Long Beach to be refilled with goods overseas totaled 209,985 TEUs, up 46.4 percent. The huge jump in cargo last month relative to a year ago is only partly due to the Hanjin bankruptcy that hit West Coast ports in September 2016.
“Our continuing recovery is due to our best-in-the-industry customer service, and the best terminals and infrastructure in the nation for shippers who need to rapidly transport cargo,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We’re expecting to have great numbers right through the end of the year and challenge 2007 for our highest annual container volume in history.”
Volumes have been strong throughout the summer with 9 percent gains in June, 13 percent increases in July and an 8 percent improvement in August. July was the Port’s busiest month ever, and now September is the third-busiest ever. For the calendar year, container volumes have surged 8.9 percent.