Container volumes at West Coast ports declined 4 percent in February compared to the same month last year, due to an 11 percent drop in imports.
The February numbers were published on the website of the Pacific Maritime Association.
February is usually the slowest month of the year in the eastbound Pacific due to the Chinese New Year celebration in Asia. The total impact of the closure of factories in Asia was felt in February this year because the lunar New Year was earlier than last year.
West Coast exports, meanwhile, were strong in February, increasing 6 percent compared to the same month last year. Exports, especially of agricultural products, are expected to increase for at least the next couple of months.
Total container volumes in Los Angeles-Long Beach in February declined 4 percent. Oakland and Seattle-Tacoma registered a 5 percent drop. Portland, with an increase of 9 percent in February, was the only West Coast gateway to report an increase in container volume.
For the first two months of the year, total container volume at West Coast ports declined 1 percent compared to January and February 2011. Imports during the period dropped 4 percent while exports increased 4 percent.
Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @billmongelluzzo.