The Port of Long Beach today reported that container traffic in February jumped 36.6 percent year-over-year to 530,967 20-foot-equivalent units.
The California port also recorded a nearly 46 percent surge in imports, reaching 279,144 TEUs, the highest volume of import containers for this month since 2007, and a 17.2 percent increase in exports, reaching 140,626 TEUs.
Empties were up 44.2 percent to 111,197 TEUs. With imports exceeding exports, empty containers were sent overseas to be refilled with goods.
The cargo increases in recent months were partially driven by the more frequent use of larger ships and the addition of service lines to Long Beach, the port said in a written statement.
However, the port noted that because the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday was in mid-February this year, its effects are more likely to be reflected in March statistics. The holiday typically slows good production in many Asian countries that export to the U.S.