The Port of Long Beach last month achieved its busiest September ever, closing out a record quarter in the port’s 104-year history.
Measured by individual containers of freight, cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach climbed 4.1 percent in September compared to the same period last year to 655,624 TEUs. The year’s third quarter — July through September — topped 2 million TEUs in a first for the Port, and improved 14.8 percent over the third quarter of 2014.
In July and August of this year, the Port of Long Beach broke its all-time monthly cargo volume record with 690,244 TEUs and 703,652 TEUs, respectively.
“In recent months, Long Beach has seen a robust return of once-diverted cargo,” said Jon Slangerup, Port of Long Beach CEO. “We greatly appreciate our shippers’ continued confidence in the Port of Long Beach.”
Through the first nine months of 2015 the Port has seen a 5.2 percent increase in cargo volume compared to the same period last year. At this rate, the Port would finish the year with more than 7 million TEUs for only the third time in its history, the last time being 2007.
This year’s third quarter saw 10.6 percent more imports and 10.5 percent more exports, compared to the third quarter of 2014.
For September alone, imports dipped 1.9 percent compared to the same month last year, to 332,909 TEUs. Exports grew 6.1 percent to 125,639 TEUs. Empty containers rose 14.6 percent to 197,076 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers are sent overseas to be refilled with goods.
The Port of Long Beach is currently investing $4 billion in improvements to prepare for even further growth. In 2016, the Port of Long Beach is expected to overtake neighboring Los Angeles as top container shipping gateway in the country.