LONG BEACH (AP) — Trade is up at the Port of Long Beach, though officials project it will be a few more years before cargo volumes match pre-recession levels.

The port is the nation’s second busiest, behind only its next-door neighbor, the Port of Los Angeles.

In 2013, cranes at Long Beach loaded and unloaded more than 6.7 million containers. Many were full of consumer goods and food traded with Asia.

On Thursday, the port’s leader said in two more years the volume would surpass 7 million containers — a level not seen since 2007.

The port is investing billions of dollars to accommodate ever-larger vessels and keep its share of U.S. trade, as an expansion of the Panama Canal will allow superships with East Coast cargo to dock there directly.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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