The Port of Long Beach achieved yet another single-month record in October by processing more than 800,000 cargo containers for the first time in its 109-year history. Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 806,603 twenty-foot equivalent units in October and broke the “best month” record set in September 2020 by more than 11,000 TEUs. Trade was up 17.2% from October 2019.
“The peak holiday shipping season is supporting our ongoing recovery and record highs, but we are now facing a new wave of COVID-19 cases spreading across the country and remain locked in a trade dispute with China,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “We are optimistic about the gradual economic recovery while bracing for any shocks still to come.”
“Our string of recent records show that our persistence and ability to work with industry and workforce partners allowed us to continue growing amid a critical time for our nation,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “The Port of Long Beach has a lengthy history of adapting to the needs of our customers during the best of times and the most difficult of times.”
The surge in cargo comes as retailers continue to prepare for the holiday shopping season, a rise in e-commerce and an increased demand for gardening equipment, pet supplies and musical instruments. The Port had 94 container ship calls in October, 18 of which were unscheduled vessels that made up for voyages canceled earlier this year.
October’s figures mark the third time in 2020 that the Port has broken an all-time record for cargo movements within a single month.
In July 2020, the Port processed 753,081 TEUs, surpassing the previous single-month record set in June 2018 by nearly 900 TEUs. The record fell a second time in September 2020, when the Port processed 795,580 TEUs. October 2020 surpassed the previous month’s mark by 1.4%.
Imports jumped 19.4% last month compared to October 2019 with 402,408 TEUs, while exports were down 12.9% to 114,679 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas grew 31.8% to 289,517 TEUs.
The Port has moved 6,513,908 TEUs during the first 10 months of 2020, 2.3% up from the same period in 2019.