Amid the ongoing COVID-19 outrbeak, the second busiest container port in the US, Port of Long Beach, marked a drop in its cargo handling volume. Namely, the port managed to handle 538.428 TEUs during February, down by 9.8% in comparison to February 2019.
As Port of Long Beach announced, due to the coronavirus situation, fewer ships are calling the port. In fact, this caused a decrease in the imports by 18%.
Although, the exports marked an increase by 19.3%. At the same time, empty containers overseas, were dropped by 13%.
With the extended factory closures and slowdown of goods movement in China and other Asian countries in February due to Lunar New Year and COVID-19, we are seeing shipping lines needing to cancel some sailings. Once the virus is contained, we may see a surge of cargo, and our terminals, labor and supply chain will be ready to handle it.
….said Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach executive director.
In light of the coronavirus situation, U.S. shippers and port executives told Reuters that the virus impacts upon imports could be larger than previous expected during April, as factory shutdowns and travel restrictions in China continue to affect production.
Along with the economic effects of reduced trade due to the health situation, we also have the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Long Beach. We hope for the swift recovery of these individuals.
…Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal, continued.
Overall, Port of Long Beach will keep monitoring the outbreak and collaborate closely with its stakeholders to avoid the spread of the disease. Concluding, COVID-19 has also impacted Port of LA cargo volumes.