Port of LB touts its first quarter of 2019 as ‘second busiest’ in history

Dock workers moved 1.8 million TEUs in a span of three months, according to port officials.

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Port of LB touts its first quarter of 2019 as ‘second busiest’ in history

According to Port of Long Beach officials this month, the terminal’s first quarter of 2019 was the second busiest in its history.

According to Port of Long Beach officials this month, the terminal’s first quarter of 2019 was the second busiest in its history.

Tim Rue | polb.com

According to Port of Long Beach officials this month, the terminal’s first quarter of 2019 was the second busiest in its history.

Tim Rue | polb.com

Tim Rue | polb.com

According to Port of Long Beach officials this month, the terminal’s first quarter of 2019 was the second busiest in its history.

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Despite lingering trade uncertainty, the Port of Long Beach had the second-busiest first quarter in its history, moving more than 1.8 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) January through March, according to officials this month.

That figure trails only the first quarter of 2018, a year when the port set an annual record for container movement at 8.1 million TEUs, officials said in a press release. First-quarter 2019 cargo movement eased 4.7 percent compared to last year’s opening quarter.

“With warehouses full from shippers rushing to beat the looming threat of escalating tariffs, shipments slowed somewhat,” said Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach executive director. “It’s going to take some time for inventory to cycle to markets and for typical growth to resume.”

Almost 1.4 million TEUs passed through the harbor from December 2018 to January. December was the Port’s second-busiest month ever, as reported by the Signal Tribune.

Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue noted that the recent Pulse of the Ports economic forecast predicted a 1.8-percent increase in North American imports this year.

“After last year’s historic result, we’re expecting modest growth this year, but it’s always important to look to the future,” she said. “That means positioning our port for sustained long-term success with our multibillion-dollar capital improvement plan, designed to provide customers with cargo movement that is predictable, reliable, efficient and fast.”

Port officials said that marine terminals and dock workers moved 552,821 TEUs in March, a 3.9-percent decrease compared to the same month a year ago. Imports were down 7.8 percent at 247,039 TEUs, while exports were 7.7 percent lower at 131,436 TEUs. Empties shipped overseas rose 5.7 percent to 174,346 TEUs.

For more detailed cargo numbers, visit polb.com/stats.