Long Beach Container Business Rises 6.3% in October

Port of Long Beach

Container traffic at the Port of Long Beach, California, rose 6.3% last month, with help from increased exports, to post the best October total in eight years.

The cargo report, the first gauge of October activity at a major U.S. port, included a drop  of 0.8% in imports, a 6.5% increase in exports and 21% more empty containers being sent back overseas for a future load. The totals include 307,995 20-foot standard unit imports, 128,308 import units and 183,681 empties.

The business at Long Beach, the second-largest U.S. port after Los Angeles, was similar to September volume.

“We had an early peak in July and August, with much of the inventory for the holiday shopping season coming early. On the export side, we’ve seen increases for the past two months, as shipping lines choose Long Beach for its reliability and service,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup. “Year to date, we’re up more than 5%, so 2015 is shaping up to be one of our best years ever.”

The National Retail Federation anticipates a 3.7% increase in retail sales during the holiday season.

A Long Beach statement said “a slight decline in imports indicated that retailers of clothing, electronics and other consumer goods apparently stocked up early for the rapidly approaching shopping season that starts with Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving."