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Long Beach box volume up 12.5%

September was the busiest month ever for container traffic at the Port of Long Beach.

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Long Beach box volume up 12.5%

The Port of Long Beach is celebrating a pair of records in September: its busiest month ever and its most active quarter in its 109-year history.


“Trade was up 12.5% in September compared to the same period in 2019. Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 795,580 cargo container units and broke the “best month” record set just two months ago. The previous single-month record of 753,081 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), set in July 2020, was surpassed by nearly 42,500 TEUs,” the port stated.


Like Los Angeles, the boom at Long Beach is driven by imports and empty container moves - loaded export containers continue to fall. The numbers show imports grew 14.3% last month to 405,618 TEU compared to September 2019, while exports decreased 8.7% to 112,556 TEU. Empty container exports jumped 21.2% to hit 277,406 TEUs.


For the quarter year period between 1 July and 30 September the port handled 2.27M TEU, up 14.1% year-on-year. “It was also the Port’s busiest quarter on record, topping the previous record set during the third quarter of 2017 by nearly 160,000 TEUs,” the port added.


“Large retail stores are reopening, merchants are stocking up for the winter holidays and the increased use of e-commerce appears to be an enduring trend picked up by consumers during the recent stay-at-home orders,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “Still, we must move ahead with caution during the remaining months of 2020 because the national economy continues to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”


“These numbers reflect a continuation of the secure, speedy and reliable service we provide at the Port of Long Beach during this difficult time in our country,” said Long Beach Harbour Commission President Frank Colonna. “Delivering top-notch customer service and maintaining the health of our workforce remain our top priority.”


In total the port received 92 box ship calls in September, a figure that includes 19 unscheduled services. The port noted TTI at Pier T set a record for the “most ship-to shore cargo moves logged at the Port of Long Beach in a single month”.


Looking at 2020 as a whole, Long Beach has seen its growth flatline, but the movement of some services from Los Angeles to Long Beach earlier in the year has largely compensated for the los of volume in the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first nine months of 2020 Long Beach box numbers are up 0.5% to 5.7M TEU. For FY 2020, which runs from 1 October to 30 September, the port handled 7.66M TEU, a decrease of 1.1%.

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