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1 Million TEUs in 1 Month: Port of Los Angeles Sets New Western Hemisphere Cargo Record

Mike Schuler
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June 15, 2021

The Port of Los Angeles processed over 1 million twenty-foot equivalent containers in May for a new Western Hemisphere record.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka made the announcement Tuesday, announcing that the port processed 1,012,048 TEUs last month for a 74% jump compared to May 2020. The figure marked the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year increases and the first time a Western Hemisphere port has broken the 1 million TEU barrier.

“The historic level of cargo that we’re managing reflects our commitment to reach new heights by working with our partners to further enhance our productivity, throughput and velocity,” said Seroka. “Much credit goes to our longshore workforce, truckers, terminal operators, ocean carriers, railroads and other stakeholders for scaling up to meet this extraordinary demand.”

The new monthly cargo record follows last week’s announcement that the Port of Los Angeles processed more than 10 million TEUs in a 12-month period, marking another Western Hemisphere first.

May’s cargo numbers were helped by all-time record monthly imports and empty containers being repositioned back to Asia.

May’s loaded imports reached 535,714 TEUs for a year-over-year increase of 75%, eclipsing the previous record of 516,286 set in August of 2020. Loaded exports increased 5.3% to 109,886 TEUs compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, empty containers climbed to 366,448 TEUs for a jump of 114% compared to last year due to the heavy demand in Asia. It was the most empties ever processed in a single month at the port.

Five months into the 2021, overall cargo volume now stood at 4,551,445 TEUs, an increase of 48.2% compared to 2020.

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