Port of Los Angeles, the busiest port in the United States, has had its best July in the port's 110-year history, with container volumes climbing by 16% compared to July 2016 volumes to 796,804 TEUs. The recent wave of imports helped push empty containers 27.7 percent higher, to 215,394 TEUs.
Imports rose 16.3 percent to 378,820 cargo containers, while exports slipped 11.7 percent to 126,098 TEUs.
The news a day after the Port of Los Angeles also announced a record in the month of July, with container volumes climbing by 16 percent compared to July 2016 volumes. Volume is up 6.4 percent for the calendar year compared to 2016.
The port's tonnage also increased in the first 10 months of its fiscal year, topping last fiscal year's numbers by 17%.
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"These numbers are great for Long Beach and good news for the economy", Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, said in a statement.
"Given the unprecedented change in the industry, we are pleased to see shippers choosing Long Beach", said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. Total volume equaled 209,883 TEUs, up from 206,600 last July, offsetting the 3.5% drop in loaded exports to 74,821.
They attributed the increase to the transition to containers from breakbulk shipping by longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. for its imports of Central American pineapples and bananas, as well as the "continuing success" of World Direct Shipping's weekly service that has brought produce from Mexico since November 2014.
On the East Coast, the Port of Virginia - No. 5 - recored a 7.5% increase in container traffic to 217,910. The document predicts that ships will be 35% larger within 15 years.