Yesterday, the Port of Los Angeles issued a press release with optimistic news: year-over-year container traffic surged 16% in 2010, led by an all-time record of exports. Exports at the Port of Los Angeles rose 10.3 percent over 2009, while imports rose 12.8 percent. The rebound we witnessed in 2010 is an encouraging sign of recovery. It shows that the Ports of LA and Long Beach are putting people back to work and is good news not only for the goods movement industry and the local economy, but the country as a whole.
A quick look into recent history and record volumes: 2008 was the previous record year for exports at POLA, with 1,782,502 TEUs. This is now surpassed by 2010 with 1,841,274 TEUs, up 3%. On the other hand, imports are still 11% below the record year of 2007, when POLA imports hit 4,410,169 TEUs, compared to 3,973,933 TEUs in 2010. Our hope is that this momentum will continue into 2011, and translate into record volumes for the import business in 2011.
The marine terminal operators in LA/Long Beach are continuing to work with key industry stakeholders to ease the challenges of increased cargo volume, improve the efficiency of cargo movement and help the industry take advantage of unused capacity to minimize congestion.
We’re encouraged by the gains at the ports and look forward to an update from the Port of Long Beach for the last month of 2010. Stay tuned for more updates on cargo volumes.