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Rail News: Intermodal

Container volume climbed at Southern California ports, lagged at Virginia port in November


The Port of Long Beach, Calif., in November logged 569,599 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 2.5 percent compared with November 2012 volume.

Imports increased 6.5 percent to 296,638 TEUs and exports climbed 9.9 percent to 151,950 TEUs — the port's second-best monthly export total in 2013.

Empty container volume dropped 12.7 percent to 121,011 TEUs. In most months, the total of exports plus empties is nearly equal to imports. But in November, exports rose sharply, so empties declined, port officials said in a volume summary.

Through 2013's first 11 months, the port's total container volume rose 12.1 percent compared with the same 2012 period, including 14.4 percent more imports, 10.8 percent more exports and 8.6 percent more empties.

At the Port of Los Angeles, total volume in November jumped 17.3 percent year over year to 683,849 TEUs.

Imports climbed 18.7 percent to 342,247 TEUs, exports soared 23.3 percent to 179,175 TEUS, total loaded container volume shot up 20.3 percent to 521,422 TEUs and empties increased 8.7 percent to 162,426 TEUs.

Through 2013's first 11 months, the port's total volume clocked in at 7,215,224 TEUs, down 3.7 percent compared with the same 2012 period.

Meanwhile, the Port of Virginia reported November volume of 192,918 TEUs, down 2.9 percent.

However, the Norfolk port remained on pace to register volume growth for the full year. Through 11 months, volume stood at 2,042,442 TEUs, up 6.4 percent compared with the same 2012 period.

"We're 122,305 TEUs ahead of where we were at this time last year, so Virginia is looking at another very solid performance," said Rodney Oliver, the Virginia Port Authority's interim executive director, in a press release. "The Sandy diversions gave us great numbers last November. But if you back out the diverted cargo from last November's totals, this November would have been ahead of last year by 4.5 percent."

In addition, the port's rail volume is 12.8 percent ahead of 2012's pace through 11 months. The port has registered double-digit rail growth in 12 of the past 13 months.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/18/2013