Photo: Port of Long Beach

Photo: Port of Long Beach

Cargo container traffic rose 7.3% in September at the Port of Long Beach compared to the same month last year, marking the Southern California seaport’s busiest September since 2007, the Port’s peak year.

A total of 629,771 twenty-foot equivalent units were moved through the facility during the month. Of those, 339,343 TEUs were imports, up 10.2% compared to September last year while exports declined 12.1% to 118,412 TEUs.

Empty container moves increased 19.1% to 172,016 TEUs. Empties are typically repositioned overseas to be refilled with goods.

Cargo numbers climbed in September largely due to the importation of products for the upcoming holiday shopping season, according to the port.

The jump in imports made this September the third-busiest import month in Long Beach’s history. For the year to date, Port of Long Beach containerized cargo is up 1.7%.

The figures follow ones released by the nearby Port of Los Angeles a few days earlier showing cargo volume there in September hit its highest level since August 2008.