The Port of Long Beach reported double-digit declines in cargo volume in November, largely because of the loss of a major tenant.
Containerized imports declined 15.6 percent, exports were down 22.2 percent and the total container volume, including empties, dropped 17.6 percent.
Earlier this year, Hyundai Merchant Marine and its terminal operator, California United Terminals, moved from Long Beach to Los Angeles. As a result, Long Beach’s container volumes have been disproportionately lower than normal while Los Angeles’ volumes have be increasing.
Los Angeles on Thursday reported a 6.2 percent year-over-year increase in containerized imports, 15 percent increase in exports and 4.1 percent increase in total container volume.
If the Hyundai/CUT numbers are factored out, Long Beach’s imports were down 2.9 percent, exports were down 12.2 percent and total container volume was down 6.9 percent from November 2010, said spokesman Art Wong.
In addition to losing a large trans-Pacific carrier, Long Beach lost the business of several niche carriers that pulled their strings of smaller 3,000-TEU vessels from the trade due to declining eastbound shipments.
Long Beach’s volume year-to-date, without factoring in CUT’s business, show imports down 3.3 percent, exports down 4.1 percent and total container volume down 3.5 percent.