Image courtesy Port of Long Beach

Cargo Surge Continues at Port of Long Beach

Mike Schuler
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August 5, 2021

The Port of Long Beach had its best July on record last month as strong consumer demand continues to drive high volumes of cargo across its docks.

The port said Thursday that dockworkers and terminals moved 784,845 TEUs in July, a 4.2% increase from its record-setting July 2020 as the economy was bouncing back from COVID-19 economic impacts. July 2020 previously held the record for “best July”.

Imports last month grew 1.6% year-over-year to 382,940 TEUs, while exports decreased 20.7% to 109,951 TEUs. Empties moved out of Long Beach ballooned 22.8%, to 291,955 TEUs.

“Ships arrived last month to move these empty containers out of the harbor and clear valuable terminal space as we handle historic amounts of trade,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “These boxes are a valuable commodity in the overstressed global supply chain. Our loaded exports are likely to rebound this month.”

With July’s numbers, the Port of Long Beach has broken monthly cargo records in 12 of the last 13 months. Year-to-date through July, the Port of Long Beach has processed 5,538,673 TEUs, a 32.3% increase over the same period in 2020.

The global pandemic continues to impact trade volumes. An outbreak at the Port of Yantian in China delayed some vessels that called at the Port of Long Beach in July. It is likely that increasing COVID-19 cases in Vietnam will disrupt supplies in the months ahead as factories shut down to contain outbreaks of the virus, the Port of Long Beach said.

“Our dockworkers and industry partners have risked their health to keep the gears of our economy turning during this pandemic,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal. “We thank them, and acknowledge their service as we continue a remarkable run of records at the Port of Long Beach.”

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