AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port Traffic Metrics: Long Beach, Mexico, Virginia

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Long Beach October Record for Container Traffic
A year of records continues at the Port of Long Beach, where last month proved to be the port’s busiest October ever, as container volumes surged 15 percent compared to a year ago. This October’s 669,218TEUs also made it the port’s fourth busiest month ever, behind the 2017 months of July, September and August.

"October used to be the industry’s busiest month of the year, with retailers preparing for Christmas," said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. "Now, with other popular shopping seasons like back-to-school, Halloween and Black Friday, ocean carriers are spreading shipments across more months to maximize the services we have developed to serve them."

In detail, this year’s October’s TEU data reflect gains from a year ago of 14.3 percent for inbound loads and 28.9 percent for empty containers and an 0.5 percent drop in outbound loads.
The year-to-date total, 6,234,930 TEUs, was up 9.5 percent compared to January-October 2016.
Click here for the latest monthly data.  More detailed cargo numbers are available at www.polb.com/stats.
Mexico: Strong Container, Breakbulk, Auto and Cruise Traffic Growth Through September 
From January through September, Mexico’s port system processed nearly 228.1 million metric tons of cargo, a 2.3 percent increase from the first nine months of 2016, according to "preliminary" data compiled and reported by the federal port agency, Coordinación General de Puertos y Marina Mercante.  That system consists of approximately 40 port locations, including the so-called "commercial ports" and facilities specializing in bulk cargos such as fertilizer or petroleum.
Imports accounted for 91.3 million tons (+12.3 percent), exports for 90.2 million tons (-2.3 percent) and domestic shipments for nearly 46.6 million tons (-5.7 percent).
The period was marked by double-digit growth for containerized and breakbulk cargo tonnage, comparatively modest gains for bulk minerals and non-petroleum liquid bulks, and declines for petroleum and agribulks. Other data point to sharp increases for container TEUs, auto exports and imports, cruise passengers and cruise ship arrivals. 
Among the commercial ports, Manzanillo, Lazaro Cardenas, Veracruz and Altamira led the nation in cargo tonnage and containers.  Veracruz and Lazaro Cardenas were the dominant auto ports.  Tops in cruise based on passenger numbers were Cozumel, Majahual, Ensenada, and Cabo San Lucas.  The attachment provides additional detail.
Virginia: October Container Volumes Set Monthly Record; Truck, Rail and Barge Cargo Up as Expansion Work Progresses 
The Port of Virginia® reports container throughput at its Hampton Roads terminals this October jumped 11.3 percent from a year ago to a record monthly high of 265,490 TEUs.  The previous record, 246,872 TEUs, was set in May 2017.
"The berth, gate, rail and barge operations are all flowing. said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA).  "Our strategic growth plan is firing on all cylinders. We continue to move containers more swiftly, safely and sustainably than ever before. Our breakbulk tonnage increased nearly 12 percent and automobile imports jumped nearly 103 percent. Next week we are going to put our new 40-plug mobile power unit to work on the Richmond Express, and this development will help to build refrigerated cargo business moving across Richmond Marine Terminal." 
Peak season volumes, brought by ultra-large container vessels, remain "steady," the port authority says, and Mr. Reinhard predicts the trend will continue through December.
Further, construction teams are making headway on the expansion at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and tracking according to schedule. The first RMGs (rail-mounted gantry cranes) are set for delivery in January 2018 and scheduled to be operational by late April. 
With two months remaining in the year, the port is tracking for a positive finish to 2017. On a calendar-year basis, total TEU volumes are up 7.9 percent; containers up 8.2 percent; rail, up 4 percent; trucks, up 10 percent; and barge volume, up 28.5 percent. Click here for details.
"Through our strong month-on-month performances, we are building our brand and reputation domestically and internationally as the Mid-Atlantic global gateway for carto of all types," Mr.  Reinhart said. "We know that next year, as we get into heavy construction at Norfolk International Terminals and the first phases of VIG go live, the industry and cargo owners will be watching. We continue to plan to ensure that we process volumes safely, efficiently and consistently while focusing on mitigating any adverse impacts on the operation as construction progresses." 



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