Long Beach Container Terminal at Middle Harbor

The Long Beach Container Terminal at Middle Harbor. Image courtesy Port of Long Beach

Port of Long Beach Kicks Off Peak Shipping Season With A Bang

Mike Schuler
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September 9, 2021

The Port of Long Beach reports its strongest August on record, kicking off peak season with a bang, the port announced Thursday.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 807,704 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container cargo last month, an 11.3% increase compared to August 2020. Imports were up 11.7% to 407,426 TEUs and exports decreased 5.3% to 119,485 TEUs. Empty containers moved through the Port rose 19.7% to 280,794 TEUs.

“It’s peak season now, but we’re likely to see continued cargo growth well into 2022,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “In order to stay on top of this cargo, ports will need to adapt. We will need to find the long-term solutions that will satisfy consumer demand, increase efficiency at the ports and reduce costs for our customers.”

The Port of Long Beach has now broken monthly cargo records in 13 of the last 14 months amid a historic surge that started in July 2020.

The Port said cargo was boosted by heightened inventory replacement and the start of the peak shipping season, which traditionally runs from August to October as retailers prepare for the upcoming holiday season.

Although consumer demand softened slightly from a month earlier, overall retail sales in August were roughly 18% above pre-pandemic levels.

“The hard work and dedication of our waterfront workers and industry partners helped us achieve our best August on record at what we expect will be the start of a robust peak shipping season,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal. “Together, we can meet the evolving needs of our customers as the leading gateway for trans-Pacific trade.”

Year-to-date through August, the Port of Long Beach has moved 6,346,377 TEUs, a 29.2% increase from the same period in 2020.

In other port news, the Port of Long Beach in August completed its decade-in-the-making Long Beach Container Terminal at Middle Harbor project, one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable cargo facilities in the world which will add 3.3 million in annual TEU capacity.

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