The Port of Long Beach set a new monthly cargo record in March, joining the Port of Los Angeles in closing out the busiest quarter ever in the history of the two ports.
The Port of Long Beach on Thursday reported handling 863,156 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of container cargo last month, up 2.7% from the previous record set in March 2021. The new record comes as dockworkers continue to move long-dwelling cargo out of marine terminals.
March imports increased 4.7% to 427,280 TEUs, while exports declined 18.3% to 114,185 TEUs. Empty containers moved through the port jumped 10% to 321,691 TEUs.
“Imports are on the rise as we continue to clear the line of ships waiting to enter our Port and move containers off the docks,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Collaborating with our industry stakeholders has led to notable improvements across the supply chain.”
Long Beach noted that although March is traditionally one of the slowest months on the shipping calendar, last month stayed busier than normal amid efforts to clear cargo from the docks and reduce the number of vessels waiting to enter the port complex.
“Our dockworkers should be commended for a successful March by going above and beyond to keep goods moving,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal. “Our partnerships with labor and industry continue to make us a leader in trans-Pacific trade.”
Through the first three months of 2022, the Port of Long Beach has moved 2,460,659 TEUs, a 3.6% increase from the same period in 2021. The first quarter of 2022 sets the record as the best quarter overall, breaking the previous record set during the fourth quarter of 2020 by 54,649 TEUs.
Next door at the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, the Port of Los Angeles this week reported record monthly cargo volumes in March with 958,674 TEUs processed, making for its third-best month ever. Los Angeles also set its all-time record in Q1 2022, processing 3.5% more cargo than in 2021.
The record volumes come ahead of contract negotiations between ILWU dockworkers and employers, comprised of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators represented by the Pacific Maritime Association, which are set to start in May.
Vessel traffic service officials reported this week that the containership backup outside of LA/LB has been reduced to 44 ships, down from a record 109 in early January.
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