Los Angeles Business Journal

New Year Slows Traffic at Ports

By James Rufus Koren Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cargo traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach declined in February, and an early lunar new year is being blamed for the disappointing numbers.

Overall cargo traffic fell 5.3 percent in Los Angeles and 15.2 percent in Long Beach compared to the same month last year, according to figures released by the ports on Wednesday.

Factories in Asia typically shut down for a week to celebrate the lunar new year, resulting in a shipping lull. That slowdown took a bite out of February and March last year, but this year with the earlier holiday the post-celebration drop off was confined to February.

There was, however, some positive news in the figures. The Port of Los Angeles posted its 21st consecutive month of export growth, sending out 164,725 loaded shipping containers, up 9.5 percent from last year.

In Long Beach, imports fell by 18 percent while exports shrunk by 1.6 percent. February marked seven months of shrinking exports at the port.