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Ocean shipping: Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach August 2011 volumes show steep declines

September 15, 2011

August volumes for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were both down compared to the same timeframe in 2010.

POLA imports—at 376,189 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) were down 5.75 percent compared to last year but were ahead of July’s 357,667. Exports came in at 184,231 for a 24.81 percent annual hike and topped July’s 165,135 output. August empties at POLA were 162,749 TEU for a 25.03 percent decline, and the monthly total was 723,170 TEU, which represented a 5.32 decline from last year.

For the calendar year-to-date, POLA is up 0.40 percent at 5,178,723.

“Considering last August was best month of 2010 and the current economic conditions, it wasn’t a bad showing,” said POLA Director of Communications Philip Sanfield. “After eight months of 2011, we’re essentially flat compared to 2010. And that’s coming off a year of 16 percent growth.  It’s difficult to predict the next four months and what, if any, kind of Peak Season, we will see. Retailers appear to be somewhat cautious going into the holiday season. We’ll know more as we see the September and October numbers.”

The August edition of the Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates are pointing to a healthy holiday season based on positive cargo projections in the fall.

August POLB imports, which are primarily comprised of consumer goods, came in at 267,198 TEU, down 14.2 percent. This was down compared to July’s 290,314 and June’s 271,113 TEU and May’s 275,100 TEU. POLB Exports, which are primarily comprised of raw materials, were down 3.8 percent at 121,277 TEU, which was behind July’s 126,968 TEU, June’s 126,588 TEU, and May’s 130,161 TEU. Empties—at 147,454 TEU—were down 15.1 percent annually.

Total POLB shipments for August were 535,929 TEU, down 12.3 percent year-over-year. This was behind July’s 572,926. For the fiscal year-to-date, POLB shipments are at 5,771,665, a 7.7 percent increase over 2010.



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