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Rail News: Intermodal

November volume: Three ports cite gains, one notes decline

The Port of Los Angeles in November registered 663,346 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), down 3 percent compared with November 2013 volume.

Exports fell 16 percent to 150,568 TEUs, imports dipped 2.7 percent to 333,153 TEUs, total loaded container volume declined 7.2 percent to 483,721 TEUs and empty container volume increased 10.6 percent to 179,625 TEUs.

Through 2014's first 11 months, the port's total volume rose 6.5 percent year over year to 7,681,498 TEUs.

At the Port of Long Beach, November volume increased 2.1 percent year over year to 581,514 TEUs. The modest rise was enough to mark the busiest November since 2007, port officials said in a press release.

But overall, cargo numbers were relatively flat in October and November, they said.

"Retailers had the majority of their goods shipped in early autumn to be prepared for the busy holiday shopping season currently underway," port officials said.

Imports in November totaled 293,984 TEUs, down 0.9 percent, while exports climbed 14.5 percent to 129,960 TEUs and empty containers surged 30.2 percent to 157,570 TEUs.

Through 2014's first 11 months, the port's volume ratcheted up 1.7 percent to 6,253,569 TEUs.

Meanwhile, the Port of Virginia in November handled 208,764 TEUs, the fifth consecutive month that volume exceeded 200,000 units. On a year-over-year basis, volume climbed 8.2 percent.

Rail volume increased 3.6 percent, truck volume rose 9.3 percent, truck container volume grew 8.7 percent and barge volume jumped 16 percent. The port's overall TEU volume is tracking at a 7.2 percent gain in 2014 compared with the same 2013 period.

"Though we're past the peak season, we’re not seeing a significant let-up in our volumes," said John Reinhart, executive director and chief executive officer of the Virginia Port Authority, in a press release.

In South Carolina, the Port of Charleston in November handled 144,218 TEUs, up 8 percent year over year. Pier container volume climbed 10 percent to 82,466 boxes.
The inland port managed by the South Carolina Ports Authority and served by Norfolk Southern Railway handled 3,972 rail moves in November. With 21,686 lifts completed so far in the fiscal year, the facility is 47 percent ahead of plan, authority officials said in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/23/2014