The Port of Long Beach posted its busiest month ever in July due to pent-up demand by consumers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The port said trade increased 21.1% in July compared to the same month in 2019, totaling 753,081 TEUs. The previous single-month record of 752,188 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), set in June 2018, was surpassed by nearly 900 TEUs.
“Supply chain workers at the Port of Long Beach expertly handled a welcome surge in cargo that was brought on due to pent-up demand by consumers,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “It was a good month, a bright spot, in the midst of the devastating effects of the coronavirus on the economy.”
Cargo volumes were bolstered in July by a surge in online spending as consumers continued to avoid leaving home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the port. Additionally, it saw a short-term increase in extra vessel visits to compensate for voyages that were canceled earlier this year.
Imports climbed 20.3% to 376,807 TEUs, while exports grew 24.1% to 138,602 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas increased 20.8% to 237,672 TEUs.
The Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach’s neighbor at the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, reported similarly strong figures for July.
“July’s performance reflects our excellent customer service and mission to move cargo efficiently, even during an unprecedented pandemic and the ongoing trade war with China,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We will continue to work with our partners to ensure the secure and speedy shipment of goods.”
Year-to-date, the port has moved 4,186,115 TEUs during the first seven months of 2020, down 2.8% from the same period in 2019.