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Rail News: Intermodal

California, Virginia ports notched volume gains in October


The Port of Long Beach, Calif., handled 530,313 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in October, up 8.7 percent compared with total volume in October 2011.

Cargo traffic received a boost from the ongoing peak season, when retailers typically stock up for holiday shopping demand, port officials said in a prepared statement.

Loaded inbound container volume jumped 15.2 percent to 276,689 TEUs, loaded outbound container volume climbed 12.8 percent to 133,503 TEUs and the number of empty containers fell 7 percent to 120,112 TEUs.

Through 2012's first 10 months, volume remained down 3.2 percent year over year as import container volume decreased 2.2 percent and export container volume was flat, port officials said.

Meanwhile, the Port of Los Angeles' volume totaled 718,406 TEUs in October, up 0.8 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Loaded inbound container volume dipped 1.1 percent to 364,882 TEUs, loaded outbound container volume declined 7.1 percent to 179,810 TEUs and total loaded container volume decreased 3.1 percent to 544,692 TEUs. Empty container volume increased 15.7 percent to 173,714 TEUs.

Through the year's first 10 months, the port's total volume rose 4.7 percent to 6.9 million TEUs compared with the same 2011 period.

The Port of Virginia notched a volume gain in October, too. The Norfolk port handled 175,330 TEUs, up 1.5 percent year over year. Total rail containers handled rose 8.2 percent to 33,031.

"October was our ninth consecutive month of growth and it would have been greater had we not had some cargo diverted to the West Coast as a result of the strike that was scheduled to begin at the beginning of October. We [also] had some vessel calls at the end of the month that were pushed into November as a result of Hurricane Sandy," said Rodney Oliver, the Virginia Port Authority's interim executive director, in a prepared statement. "We'll recapture that cargo and see it reflected in the November totals."

Through 10 months, the port's total cargo increased 7.6 percent to 1.7 million TEUs and number of rail containers handled climbed 14.3 percent to 314,050 versus the same 2011 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/20/2012