Port of Long Beach container cargo volumes decrease by 22.1 percent in April 2015
Following a solid first quarter, Port of Long Beach container cargo volumes decreased in April compared to the same month in 2015, after lower-than-expected consumer spending in recent months. The decline also reflects shifts in evolving vessel alliances that have shifted ship deployments.
Overall, Port container cargo volume was down 22.1 percent last month, compared to April 2015. Amid a soft retail climate in the U.S. and economic woes overseas, the decline in imports was accompanied by exports that were down 18 percent due to the continued strength of the U.S. dollar.
Through the first four months of 2016, cargo volume was down 2.2 percent, reflecting slowing economic growth nationally. U.S. GDP was up 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 followed by 2016 first quarter GDP growth of only 0.5 percent.
The Port moved a total of 478,842 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units, a standard shipping measure) in April. This includes 247,316 TEUs in imports — largely consumer goods — while exports totaled 112,805 TEUs. Empty containers were down 25.8 percent to 118,721 TEUs, which are returned overseas to be refilled with imports.