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Volume growth continues at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in February

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
March 16, 2011

Volume gains continued on a steady pace at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach in February.

POLB imports, which are primarily comprised of consumer goods, came in at 233,660 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) in February for a 12.4 percent year-over-year increase but were down compared to January’s 242,445. POLB Exports, which are primarily comprised of raw materials, were down 1 percent to 121,929 TEU, down from January’s 127,546 TEU. Total POLB shipments—at 458,336 TEU—were up 10.9 percent compared to a year ago.

This monthly tally at POLA was down compared to January’s 474,960 TEU, but it is still in line with recent levels. What’s more 2011 totals to date are solid at the port, despite the departure of California United Terminals to the Port of Los Angeles in December, which represented roughly 10 percent of all Port of Long Beach’s volume.

POLA imports—at 275,887 TEU—were up 3.19 percent from last year and down from January’s 338,606, and exports—at 150,357 TEU—were up 1.64 percent and down from January’s 159,050. Total POLA shipments for February—at 554,913 TEU—were up 5.61 percent annually and were behind January’s 660,517 TEU.

Officials at both ports said February volumes matched up with expectations heading into the month.

“We are pleased with these numbers,” said POLA Director of Communications Phillip Sanfield. “Last February, we came back with a 27 percent annual increase compared to 2009, which shows how bad 2009 was. And this year, we were able to keep pace and grow a bit. All things considered, it was a pretty good month.”

Despite the positive trends, Sanfield there are questions, regarding how the next few months will play out in terms of volume growth, given how oil and gas prices could impact consumer spending and how the Japan earthquake may impact global trade. He noted that single-digit growth in the coming months would be solid, given the strong beginning to the year to date.

POLA Assistant Director of Communications Art Wong noted that imports in February were particularly strong, continuing a trend that has been occurring over the past few months.

“The speculation has been that after the strong holiday retail season retailers were replenishing inventories, and there may be some that re-stocking in these numbers,” said Wong. “Ordinarily, we would expect February import numbers to be down a little bit, because the last week of February was the Chinese New Year.”

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About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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