Data shows the Port of Long Beach has seen its container volumes surge nearly 9 percent in 2017.
The 701,619 TEUs processed at Long Beach port terminals last month was a 28.3 percent improvement from the same month a year ago, according to recent data from the Southern California port.
The Port of Long Beach moved more containers last month than any September in its history, and also set a record for the number of containers moved in a single quarter, according to data released by the port Oct. 11.
The 701,619 TEUs processed at Long Beach port terminals last month was a increase of 28.3 percent compared to September 2016. And in the third quarter of the calendar year, the Port of Long Beach handled 2,114,306 TEUs, a 15.9 percent jump from the same period last year and more than any combined July, August and September in port history.
Port data show that volumes have been strong throughout the summer, with year-over-year gains of 9 percent in June, 13 percent in July, and 8 percent in August. July was the port’s busiest month ever, and now September is the third-busiest ever.
“Simply put, we are having the best trade months in port history,” Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum said. “Back-to-school merchandise (imports from Asia) was strong for us, and it looks like retailers are optimistic about the holiday season.”
Imports increased 29.5 percent last month to 366,298 TEUs, while 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 partly due, the port said, to the Hanjin bankruptcy that was declared at the end of August 2016 and fully hit West Coast ports that September.
For the calendar year, Long Beach container volumes have surged 8.9 percent, statistics show. For the fiscal year that ended last month, POLB TEU traffic was up 4.1 percent compared to FY 2016, despite a 5.6 percent drop in loaded outbound containers.
“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,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said.