Container volume in February at the Port of Long Beach declined 15.2 percent year-over-year. Imports from Asia were affected by the seasonal slump that follows Chinese New Year celebrations in Asia.
Though exports declined 1.6 percent for the month, import volume fell 18 percent. Containerized exports have been robust, as is normally the case in the winter and spring.
Although February is normally the weakest month of the year for imports in the trans-Pacific trades, they were down more than usual this year because Chinese New Year was early and the closing of factories during the annual celebrations affected cargo volumes for much of the month.
“Last year, the New Year fell on Feb. 3, and the slowdown was felt in the latter part of the month and into early March. This year, the New Year fell on Jan. 23, putting the entire slow period in February,” the Port of Long Beach said.
The neighboring Port of Los Angeles released its February numbers Wednesday, and its imports were down 7.7 percent. As a port complex, Los Angeles-Long Beach recorded a decline of 13 percent in imports compared to February 2011.
Exports from Los Angeles were quite strong, however, increasing 9.6 percent from last February. As a port complex, Los Angeles-Long Beach reported an increase of 5 percent in exports compared to February 2011.