April 16, 2015 3:00 PM, EDT

Container Volume Rises at Southern California Ports

Traffic Increases 13.7% at South Carolina Ports
Lance Cunningham/Flickr
Lance Cunningham/Flickr

Volume at the neighboring Southern California ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles increased, with Los Angeles’ rising to its second-busiest month on record.

At the Port of L.A., container volume increased 17.3% to 791,863 20-foot-equivalent units for the month from a year ago, while exports dropped 22.5% to 145,536.

“March container volumes were robust as our terminals worked aggressively to clear out the backlog of vessels,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a statement.

“The number of ships waiting at anchor has reduced significantly, labor levels are strong and our container terminals are extremely active. We continue to work on a series of initiatives to improve efficiencies throughout the supply chain," Seroka said. "Next week, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach will co-host stakeholders to discuss additional solutions to further optimize the San Pedro Bay supply chain."

The port’s busiest month was October 2008 when it moved 800,063 TEUs.

Year to date, overall volume declined 5% to 1.8 million TEUs, according to the port.

The Port of Long Beach reported cargo volume increased 32% to 630,084 TEUs. Exports declined 17.3%, imports increased 42.1% and empty containers jumped 85.4% to 185,27.

Year to date, cargo has declined 1.5% at the port of Long Beach.

Ports in South Carolina reported a 13.7% increase in container volume in March. TEU volume increased to 171,113, the S.C. Ports Authority said April 15. Year to date, container volume increased 14.3%.

“March volumes reflect the end of a very strong quarter, and I'm confident the port will handle over 1 million boxes by the end of our fiscal year in June,” Jim Newsome, CEO of SCPA, said in a statement.

“We're seeing broad-based growth across all sectors, particularly refrigerated cargo and automotive manufacturing." he added. "Discretionary cargo volumes are also up, with the growth of retail imports and agricultural exports reflected in a nearly 25% increase in rail moves last month."