The Port of Long Beach had the best August in its 109-year history, marking a strong start to the peak shipping season, although COVID-19 continues to create long-term economic uncertainty.
Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 725,610 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container cargo last month, a 9.3% increase compared to August 2019. Imports jumped 13% to 364,792 TEUs and exports were up 1% to 126,177 TEUs. Empty containers shipped overseas climbed 8.5% to 234,642 TEUs.
“Despite the recent surge in cargo, uncertainty remains in international trade and the national economy, given the ongoing COVID-19 impacts,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “August marked another great month for the Port, but we must remain vigilant about the global pandemic’s lasting effects.”
“I commend our dockworkers and business partners for a successful August; they’ve gone above and beyond to keep goods moving,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “The health of our supply chain workforce and providing top-notch service to the industry remain utmost priorities for the Port during this time.”
The boost comes at the start of the peak shipping season, which typically runs from August to October as retailers prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
In August, demand for such goods as home improvement items and home exercise equipment contributed to the increase in shipments, along with another short-term increase in extra vessel visits that made up for voyages that were canceled earlier this year.
The Port has moved 4,911,725 TEUs during the first eight months of 2020, 1.2% down from the same period in 2019.