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Rail News: Intermodal

L.A.-area ports report mixed June traffic results; Washington state port seeks own rail system


The two major Los Angeles-area ports registered opposite cargo volume results in June.

The Port of Long Beach handled 554,269 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 6.6 percent compared with June 2010 volume. Imports rose 3.5 percent to 271,113 TEUs while exports climbed 9 percent to 126,588 TEUs. The volume of empty containers — most of which are bound overseas for refilling — increased 10.3 percent to 156,568 TEUs.

Through 2011’s first six months, the port’s container moves climbed 6.2 percent, import volume increased 6 percent and export volume rose 4 percent compared with the same 2010 period.

However, the Port of Los Angeles’ total volume in June dropped 12.3 percent to 640,795 TEUs on a year-over-year basis. Although export container volume rose 5.6 percent to 163,137 TEUs, import container volume fell 10.2 percent to 333,894 TEUs. Total loaded container volume declined 5.6 percent to 497,032 TEUs and total empty container volume plunged 29.5 percent to 143,763 TEUs.

Through 2011’s first six months, the port’s total volume reached 3.77 million TEUs, up 2.8 percent year over year.

Meanwhile, the Port of Everett, Wash., plans to spend $2.4 million to build an internal rail system. The port recently awarded a construction contract to MidMountain Contractors Inc.

The port currently uses a small rail spur to load rail cars, which are moved by BNSF Railway Co. The internal rail system will enable the port to load more cars at a time, move the cars with its own forces and equipment, and store cars on its own tracks.

Project costs will be covered by a federal transportation grant, interest-free and low-cost loans, and port funds.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/15/2011