AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port Traffic Metrics: Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Virginia

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Port of Long Beach Container Traffic at Record Levels
Cargo volume continues to break records at the Port of Long Beach, which moved more containers last month than any September in its history.

This September’s 701,619 TEUs boosted the third quarter total to 2,114,306 TEUs, up 15.9 percent from July-September 2016 and the port’s best quarter ever.
"Simply put, we are having the best trade months in port history," said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. "Back-to-school merchandise was strong for us, and it looks like retailers are optimistic about the holiday season."

In detail, the September numbers reflect TEU increases from last year of 29.5 percent for imports, 4.1 percent for exports, and 46.4 percent for empties.  According to the port, last month’s upsurge was "only partly due" to the Hanjin bankruptcy in September 2016."

Volumes remained strong throughout the summer with year/on/year gains of 9 percent in June, 13 percent in July and 8 percent in August. July was the port’s busiest month and this September its third busiest. 
The calendar- year-to-date total of nearly 5.6 million TEUs was up 8.9 percent compared to January-September 2016.
"Our continuing recovery is due to our best-in-the-industry customer service, and the best terminals and infrastructure in the nation for shippers who need to rapidly transport cargo," said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. "We’re expecting to
have great numbers right through the end of the year and challenge 2007 for our highest annual container volume in history."
Los Angeles Container Trade Gains 2.1% in September, 8.2% Year-to-Date, Containers Per Ship Average Sets Record
Los Angeles port container traffic last month reached 763,785 TEUs, slightly more than last year and the port’s third highest September total ever. 
This September’s data reflect declines from a year ago of .07 percent for inbound loads, 3.2 percent for outbound loads, and a 15.5 percent upturn in empty container movements resulting, the port says, from "trade policy changes impacting waste paper exports to China."
The 88 container vessels that called last month averaged 8,679 TEUs per visit, a Los Angeles port record and a 22 percent increase from the September 2016 average. 
Calendar year-to-date throughput totaled 6.9 million TEUs, up 8.2 percent from the comparable period of 2016, when the year-end total reached a record 8.8 million TEUs.  
"As we enter the final quarter of 2017, we’re pleased to be tracking toward record volumes for a Western Hemisphere port," said Port Director Gene Seroka. "We continue to demonstrate the LA Advantage to cargo owners, with a strong focus on meeting big-ship needs, developing world-class infrastructure, and delivering extraordinary customer service through innovation and efficiency." 
Oakland Import Containers Set September Record
Container imports set a September record last month at the Port of Oakland, rising 12.6 percent from a year ago to 79,135 TEUs. The previous September record, 77,071 TEUs, was set in 2006.
"This is the peak season for container shipping, when we expect higher import volumes ahead of the year-end holidays," said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll.  "We’re pleased to see the pace of activity picking up."
The port said that import volume is up 4.1 percent year-to-date compared to 2016.  Oakland’s import traffic originates mainly in China and Southeast Asia.
Oakland’s September container volume overall – in- and outbound loads, plus empty containers   increased 12.7 compared to September 2012 despite a 3.6 decline in vessel visits –  as the that shipping lines continue delivering increasing quantities on fewer but larger ships.
Virginia Posts Strong September Volumes
The Port of Virginia® reports September container throughput at its Hampton Roads maritime terminals Terminal totaled 237,816 TEUs, an increase of 8.2 percent compared to September 2016.  In detail, the year/on/year comparisons show gains 9.5 percent and 36 percent, respectively for imports and empty containers and a 6.2 percent drop in exports.  
The year-to-date total of nearly 2.1 million TEUs was up 9.7 compared to January-September 2016.  Other data show gains for containers transported to and from the Hampton Roads marine terminals by rail (+ 4.0 percent), truck (+ 9.4 percent) and barge (+26.5 percent).  
"Our gate volume was up nearly 15 percent, barge volume to Richmond Marine Terminal was up more than 12 percent and automobiles moving across Newport News Marine Terminal increased more than 28 percent, on a year-over-year basis," said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. "We are seeing continued growth in all of our trade lanes, good peak-season volume and anticipate a solid performance for the remainder of the year."

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