POLA and POLB March volumes both impress to finish Q1

March volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) both turned in very strong performances, according to data issued by the ports this week.

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March volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) both turned in very strong performances, according to data issued by the ports this week.

POLA and POLB are the two largest North American ports, and they collectively account for more than 40 percent of U.S. imports.

Total POLA March volume saw a 29 percent annual gain to 788,524 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU).  Port officials said the impressive gain was attributed to strong export volumes, a post Lunar New Year cargo boost out of Asia, and U.S.-based retailers moving merchandise in advance of new vessel alliance deployments that commenced in April.

On a sequential basis, March volumes were up 20.7 percent compared to February. And the POLA most recent five-year average for March volumes is 646,724 TEU, with March 2017 up 22 percent over that average. Imports saw a 30 percent gain to 373, 549 TEU, and exports were up 20 percent to 191,772 TEU. Empty containers rose 34 percent to 223,203 TEU.  For the first quarter, total POLA volume was up 10.32 percent at 2,240,544 TEU.

“We are pleased to end the first quarter of 2017 with strong volumes and continually efficient cargo handling operations,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka in a statement. “We continue to earn the confidence of shippers and are encouraged by the strength of our supply chain partners. In the coming months, we will remain laser focused on infrastructure improvements, technology solutions, and a strategic use of resources to ensure that we meet the needs of our marine terminal customers and the carriers they serve.”

Total POLB volumes at 505,382 TEU were up 8.7 percent annually. Imports were up 20.2 percent at 249,534, and exports dropped 5.3 percent to 120,435 TEU. Empties rose 4.2 percent to 135,413 TEU.

For the first quarter, total POLB volumes headed up 1.5 percent to 1,586,381 TEU.

POLB officials are optimistic in regards to the balance of 2017, as it expands its

Mediterranean Shipping Co., the second largest global shipping line and adds new business and strengthens its relationships with its partners.

"The rise in imports coming through Long Beach shows that consumers are feeling optimistic," said POLB Interim Chief Executive Duane Kenagy in a statement. "Since their spending drives more than two-thirds of the economy, this is a great indicator for the jobs that depend on our Port as we head into the busiest trading months of the year."


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