Cargo moving through the Port of Long Beach slowed in February due to full warehouses, reduced consumer spending and the closure of east Asian factories during the Lunar New Year holiday.


In a statement, the Port of Long Beach said it moved 543,675 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month, down 31.7% from February 2022, which was the Port's busiest February on record.


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 Source: Port of Long Beach

Imports declined 34.7% to 254,970 TEUs, and exports decreased 5.9% to 110,919 TEUs. Empty containers moving through the Port were down 38.3% to 177,787 TEUs.


Trade continues to normalise

"Trade continues to normalize following the record-breaking cargo numbers we saw at the start of last year," said Mario Cordero, executive director of  Port of Long Beach, adding that the port is investing in infrastructure projects to keep the gateway competitive.


Sharon L. Weissman, Long Beach Harbor Commission President, thanked longshore labour, marine terminal operators and all of the port's industry partners for keeping the gateway moving for trans-Pacific goods.


"This traditionally slow time of year provides an opportunity to focus on long-term projects and the operational excellence that makes us the Port of Choice," Weissman added.


Port of Long Beach noted that trade typically slows in February as east Asian factories close for up to two weeks as workers celebrate Lunar New Year.


Economists say the year started stronger than anticipated, but shifts in trade routes and increased prices are driven by inflation contributed to a decline in shipments as retailers continued to clear warehouses.