The Port of Los Angeles surpassed neighboring Port of Long Beach in the number of cargo containers handled for the third time in as many months, according to statistics released by both ports. Until January, Long Beach had been the nation's undisputed top port for nearly five years. In March, Los Angeles took in 357,267 cargo containers, compared with 350,764 at Long Beach, as both facilities grappled with steadily increasing container volume sparked by record-setting growth in the U.S. economy and improved economic conditions in Asia. The Port of Los Angeles has fielded record cargo volumes each month this year in part because of seven new transpacific shipping services that launched at the port last year, spokesman Jeff Leong said. The additional services helped fuel a 35% jump in imports and 20% rise in exports. Long Beach posted more modest increases of 4% and 10%, respectively. While Los Angeles took in nearly 2,200 more import containers than its neighbor, Long Beach beat Los Angeles in exports by roughly 15,000 containers. Most of Los Angeles' dominance over Long Beach came in empty cargo containers that are shipped back to Asia to meet growing export demands.