Trade Slows in May at the Port of Long Beach

Freight train with cargo containers

Photo: jopstock / Moment / Getty Images

LONG BEACH (CNS) - Cargo volume decreased in May at the Port of Long Beach due to shifting trade routes and canceled voyages, officials announced Thursday.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 695,937 twenty-foot equivalent units in May, down 8.2% from the same period last year. Imports came at 4.5% or about 341,271 TEUs, and exports decreased about 21.1% to 100,885 TEUs compared to May 2023. Empty containers moving through the port declined by 7% or some 249,782 TEUs, according to port officials.

In the first five months of 2024, the port moved 3,449,181 TEUs, which overall is up 10% compared to the same period last year.

"I am confident we will see additional cargo as we work with industry partners to rebuild our market share in this increasingly competitive environment," Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero said in a statement. "Looking ahead, I anticipate a moderate increase in cargo as we move into summer and we recapture business by delivering the top-notch customer service that makes us the 'Port of Choice."'

Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera Jr. echoed Cordero's comments, adding that longshore labor, facilities and industry partners are ready for cargo growth.

"Over the long term, the San Pedro Bay ports complex will continue to be a strategic and sustainable gateway for trans-Pacific trade," Olvera said in a statement.

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