Port of Long Beach has best first quarter since 2007

Cosco Faith arrives at the Port of Long Beach in January 2017.Containers arriving in Long Beach with goods bound for U.S. consumers spiked 20.2 percent in March compared to the same month in 2016, pushing the Port to its best first quarter since 2007.

Dockworkers offloaded 249,534 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from vessels in March. Shipments to overseas markets continue to face challenges due to the strong dollar, as exports decreased 5.3 percent, to 120,435 TEUs. Empties numbered 135,413 containers, up 4.2 percent. In total, the Port of Long Beach moved 505,382 TEUs last month — an 8.7 percent increase.

The Port of Long Beach had a modest boost in cargo during the first quarter of the year, with overall throughput increasing 1.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago. All segments of containerized cargo grew year-over-year in the opening quarter of 2017, as imports climbed 2.1 percent, exports 0.4 percent and empties 1.5 percent.

"We’re happy to see these gains during the traditionally slow period of the year," said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán. "We see a lot of upside for the remainder of 2017 as we expand our partnership with the world’s second-largest line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., add new business and strengthen our relationships with our partners." 

"The rise in imports coming through Long Beach shows that consumers are feeling optimistic," said Port of Long Beach Interim Chief Executive Duane Kenagy. "Since their spending drives more than two-thirds of the economy, this is a great indicator for the jobs that depend on our Port as we head into the busiest trading months of the year."

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans­-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles $180 billion in trade annually, supporting hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.