Two California ports reporting their October volumes, said export volumes were higher than in October 2018, but that import volumes failed to reach the level set a year earlier.
The Port of Long Beach moved a total of 688,425 TEUs of containerized cargo in October 2019, 2.4% percent less than the same month last year, but still the second-busiest October in the port's 108-year history.
When compared to 2018, Long Beach container imports dipped 7.4 percent to 337,062 TEUs, while exports jumped 9.8 percent to 131,635 TEUs. Empty containers delivered overseas to be filled with goods decreased 0.8 percent to 219,728 TEUs.
"As the trade war lingers, these tariffs continue to impact the U.S. economy and have created uncertainty for the business of importers and exporters," said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. "We are hopeful for a prompt resolution of the tariff situation between the U.S. and China. In the meantime, we are moving forward with capital improvements that should bring long-term growth."
Meanwhile, the Port of Oakland said its October 2019 containerized exports totaled 87,393 TEUs, 10.8 percent ahead of October 2018 volumes. The port labeled the double-digit jump positive amid reports that the U.S.-China trade war could be easing.
"Our export customers have demonstrated their resilience throughout this tariff standoff," said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll, in a statement. "For their sake, we hope the conflict is resolved and overseas business can grow even more." But Oakland said containerized imports were down 4.6 percent to 78,583 TEUs.
Container imports at U.S. ports were widely expected to be lower in the final months of this year because volumes last year swelled as shippers rushed to bring goods into the country before threatened tariffs against Chinese goods were scheduled to be implemented.
In contrast, to Long Beach and Oakland, the Port of Los Angeles said both import and export container volumes in October 2019 were 19% lower than in October 2018.