Container volumes at the Port of Long Beach declined 7.23 percent in May compared to May 2011, with imports dropping 9.15 percent and exports down 0.83 percent.
On a month-to-month basis, however, May was the busiest month of the year so far for imports, indicating that containerized imports should continue to increase as the Asia-U.S. trade builds toward the peak shipping season.
The Port of Los Angeles earlier Thursday released its May container volumes. Imports increased 2.7 percent and exports in Los Angeles increased 0.45 percent compared to May 2011.
Long Beach continues to feel the effects of losing Hyundai Merchant Marine in late 2010. Hyundai and its terminal operator, California United Terminals, moved from Long Beach to Los Angeles.
Containerized exports in Long Beach were down only slightly in May. Exports peaked in March, which is always one of the busiest months of the year in the U.S. export trade to Asia. Exports are expected to remain somewhat slow during the summer months, but they should pick up with the autumn harvest and continue to increase through the winter months.