Port cargo volume drops in Los Angeles but rises in Long Beach, while strike worries loom

(FILES) A cargo ship stands on Long Beac

Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

A cargo ship stands in a Long Beach harbor in 2012. The Port of Long Beach reported a rise in imports and exports in January 2013 compared to the year before. The Port of Los Angeles reported a decline in both last month. Port clerical workers recently rejected a negotiated contract, raising worry about the possibility of a strike.

Two major shipping companies established hubs at the Port of Long Beach last year. Both companies had been sending ships to call at the Port of Los Angeles.  The shift from one port to another is showing up in the latest report on cargo volumes.

The port of Los Angeles reports imports and exports dropped by more than 5 percent in January 2013 over the same month in 2012.  Cargo volumes jumped in Long Beach in January, with a more than 19 percent rise in imports, and an 8.2 percent rise in exports.

While the two ports compete, both ports are worried about the potential of a strike like the one that lasted eight days late last year. The clerical workers who went on strike in 2012 recently voted to reject the negotiated contract.

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