January volumes are down at the Port of Long Beach

Total January volume was 474,960 TEU, which was down 3.9 percent annually.

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January volumes at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) were down 3.9 percent year-over-year, according to data released by the port this week.

Total January volume was 474,960 TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent units). Imports, which are primarily comprised of consumer goods came in at 229,125 TEU and were down 5.5 percent.

And exports—at 117,083 TEU—were down 8.2 percent.  POLB exports are typically comprised of raw materials, including recycled paper that becomes packaging, cotton for clothing, plastic for toys, and leather hides for shoes and handbags

Empty containers—at 110,216 TEU—were up 5 percent, with most empties bound for overseas.

POLB officials said that import volumes typically pick up leading up to the Chinese New Year, as U.S. retailers stock up their shelves in anticipation of the holidays in Asia when most factories close down for a week or more. And they added that conversely, exports of raw materials to China slow down; Chinese New Year was January 23, and the decline in imports reflect caution in the retail sector.

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