Strong consumer demand for goods continued to push cargo higher at the Port of Long Beach, as imports surged more than 10 percent in August compared to the same month last year.

The figure was the third-highest monthly import total in the Port’s 106-year history.

Long Beach terminals processed 692,375 twenty-foot equivalent units in all — 8 percent more than last August’s shipments — making it the second-busiest August ever and the third-highest container volume for any month. Cargo is up 6.6 percent for the first eight months of the year over 2016.

“We are on pace to have our highest import year ever and one of our best years, period,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Our inbound traffic during this peak season signifies optimism among retailers for the holiday season. Simply put, shoppers are buying more, and retailers are restocking their shelves.”

“The modest economic growth we’ve seen since the Great Recession has been replaced this year by robust gains, at least when measured by goods coming into the United States,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Shippers are choosing Long Beach for that because we have the best service and most modern facilities of any seaport in the nation.”

Imports were up 10.6 percent last month against August 2016, to 355,715 TEUs. Exports trended downward, with 117,290 outbound containers loaded onto ships, a 26.3 percent decrease due to shifts in vessel alliances. Empty containers going back to Asia to be refilled with goods climbed to 219,370 TEUs, a 37 percent increase.

Port of Long Beach
Latest Month
Container Trade in TEUs*

AugustFiscal Year to Date***
Loaded Inbound355,715321,62510.6%3,331,8663,231,3613.1%
Loaded Outbound117,290159,247-26.3%1,325,8151,417,658-6.5%
TOTAL (T.E.U.)692,375641,0298.0%6,529,1396,399,4522.0%
*TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container
**Preliminary estimate
The size of cargo containers range from 20 feet long to more than 50 feet long.
The international measure is the smallest box, the 20-footer or 20-foot-equivalent unit (TEU).
*** Fiscal Year = Oct. 1 through Sep. 30.
Source: polb