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Port of Long Beach sees 20% decline in April container volumes

Port of Long Beach Containers in the Port of Long beach
Container traffic at the Port of Long Beach continued to show a sharp decline year-on-year in April, although volumes handled were higher than in March 2023.

The US West Coast gateway port of Long Beach terminals handled 656,049 teu in April 2023, some 20.1% on a record April 2022.

Imports declined 21.8% to 313,444 teu, while exports increased a marginal 0.6% to 122,663 teu, and empty container movements dropped 26.2% to 219,943 teu.

“The unprecedented consumer demand we saw at the height of Covid-19 has diminished and cargo flows are now closer to pre-pandemic levels,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We expect slow growth in the second half of 2023, as retailers continue to clear surplus inventory from their warehouses.”

While volumes in April 2023 were much lower than the same month a year earlier there were some positive signs on a month-on-month basis. The 656,049 teu handled in April this year was 8.6% higher than the 603,878 teu throughput registered in March.

“Our facilities, dockworkers, marine terminal operators and staff continue to make this the premier gateway for trans-Pacific goods movement,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “So we do expect cargo volumes to rebound eventually as shippers seek out the top-notch customer service of the Port of Choice.”

The Port handled 2.38m teu during the first four months of 2023, down 27.5% from the same period in 2022.