Cargo containers stacked at the Port of Long Beach

July marked the busiest month in the 109-year history of the Port of Long Beach, as terminal operators and dockworkers moved 753,081 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs). The previous single-month record of 752,188 TEUs was set in June 2018.

Overall cargo volumes at the California port increased 21.1 per cent in July (2020), compared to the same month in 2019. Imports climbed 20.3 per cent to 376,807 TEUs, while exports grew 24.1 per cent to 138,602 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas increased 20.8 per cent to 237,672 TEUs.

The port pointed to a surge in online spending for the uplift in cargo volumes, as consumers continue to avoid leaving home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the port saw a short-term increase in extra vessel visits to compensate for voyages that were cancelled earlier this year.

“Supply chain workers at the Port of Long Beach expertly handled a welcome surge in cargo that was brought on due to pent-up demand by consumers,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “It was a good month, a bright spot, in the midst of the devastating effects of the coronavirus on the economy.”

The port has moved 4,186,115 TEUs during the first seven months of 2020, 2.8 per cent down from the same period in 2019.