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Port of Long Beach sees 16.6% plunge in October box volumes

The Port of Long Beach reported a 16.6% drop in container volumes handled in October as imports plunge.

One of the two main gateway ports on the US West Coast, along with Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach handled 658,428 teu in October, some 16.6% lower than in the same month last year.

The drop in volumes was driven by a sharp contraction in imports which were down 23.7% at 293,924 teu.

The port said the decrease was due to reduced consumer demand as well as shift of imported goods moving through Gulf and East Coast ports. Unprecedented levels of congestion at the San Pedro ports of LA and LB last year, and into early 2022 have seen lines shifting services into the US East Coast.

Exports moving through LB decreased 2% to 119,763 teu and empty containers moved through the port fell 13.4% to 244,743 teu.

“The supply chain is returning back to normal and cargo continues to move, so I am optimistic that store shelves will be stocked and goods will be available for delivery during the holiday season,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Over the long term, the San Pedro Bay ports complex will continue to be a competitive, strategic and sustainable gateway for trans-Pacific trade.”

Overall in the first 10 months of the year container volumes were up 1.5% at 8m teu.