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Rail News: Intermodal

Three U.S. ports posted volume gains, one registered drop in January

The Port of Los Angeles in January handled 685,550 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 2.5 percent compared with January 2013 volume.

Loaded import volume climbed 6.7 percent to 360,037 TEUs, loaded export volume increased 1.7 percent to 161,938 TEUs, total loaded container volume rose 5.1 percent to 521,975 TEUs and empty container volume declined 5.1 percent to 163,575 TEUs.

The Port of Long Beach, Calif., registered 528,884 TEUs in January, a 1.4 percent decline compared with the year-ago period. Imports rose 2 percent to 279,415 TEUs, but exports dropped 3.4 percent to 122,411 TEUs and empties fell 6.3 percent to 127,058 TEUs.

"Exports and empties typically slow ahead of the Lunar New Year, which this year was on Jan. 31, because much of China and other countries in East Asia shut down for two weeks for the holiday," port officials said in a volume summary. "Although January was slightly down, 2014 is expected to be busier than 2013, which was the third-busiest year in port history."

Meanwhile, the Georgia Ports Authority's (GPA) two ports posted volume growth in January. The ports in Savannah and Brunswick logged a 12.5 percent gain in total TEUs and 7.3 percent rise in overall tonnage compared with January 2013 totals.

The Port of Savannah handled 259,159 TEUs versus 230,372 in January 2013. Freight moved across all terminals totaled 2.45 million tons, up 166,544 tons on a year-over-year basis.

The Port of Brunswick in January registered a 6.1 percent year-over-year increase in automobile and heavy equipment units.

"We are encouraged by the strong growth in January that continued a trend that began during the fourth quarter, and are hopeful these volumes signal a strengthening U.S. and global economy," said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/19/2014