The peak shipping season started with a roar and lifted the Port of Long Beach to its strongest August on record.
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 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.”
The Port of Long Beach has broken monthly cargo records in 13 of the last 14 months amid a historic surge that started in July 2020.
Cargo moving through the Port 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 Port has moved 6,346,377 TEUs through the first eight months of 2021, a 29.2% increase from the same period in 2020.
The Port of Long Beach is the nation’s second-busiest seaport. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles $200 billion in trade annually, supporting more than 575,000 Southern California jobs.