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Rail News: Intermodal

October container volume plunged at Long Beach port, climbed at L.A. port


Last month, total container volume at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., plunged 20.5 percent year over year to 487,665 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) — the largest percentage drop in a month so far this year and the fourth straight monthly decline, port officials said in a prepared statement.

Import container volume fell 20.8 percent to 240,248 TEUs, export container volume dropped 21.4 percent to 118,325 TEUs and empty container volume declined 19.3 percent to 129,092 TEUs.

“A portion of the decline in traffic was attributable to the departure of California United Terminals, which vacated one of the port's seven container terminals last year,” port officials said, adding that the company accounted for about one-tenth of overall container traffic.

After experiencing record gains in 2010 and continued growth in the earlier part of 2011, the port registered a 2 percent dip in imports and 1 percent drop in exports through the year’s first 10 months.

“Despite signs that consumer demand is rebounding across the nation, retailers appear to have taken a cautious approach for the upcoming holiday season,” port officials said.

Meanwhile, the Port of Los Angeles in October handled 712,586 TEUs, up 4.4 percent compared with October 2010 volume. Export container volume jumped 28.1 percent to 193,547 TEUs, import container volume increased 5.5 percent to 368,842 TEUs and total loaded container volume rose 12.3 percent to 562,390 TEUs. Empty container volume decreased 17.4 percent to 150,195 TEUs

Through 2011’s first 10 months, the port’s total volume inched up 0.7 percent to 6.6 million units.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/21/2011