An unprecedented surge in cargo volume lifted the Port of Long Beach to its busiest February on record. Terminal operators and dockworkers moved over 770,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 40% plus increase over February 2020 and marking the largest year-over-year increase for a single month in the Port’s 110-year history.
It was also the first time the Port of Long Beach handled more than 700,000 TEUs in the month of February, exceeding the previous record set in February 2018 by over 100,000 units.
Imports jumped 50% to 373,756 TEUs, while exports declined 5% to 119,416 TEUs. Empty containers moved through the Port climbed 70% to 278,563 TEUs.
“The supply chain workforce is giving its all to keep the cargo moving, even as their ranks are hit by the pandemic. New records are being set, demonstrating how busy they have been,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “We understand that shippers are awaiting their cargo, and we are collaborating with our industry partners to deliver shipments as quickly as possible.”
“Our top priority is vaccinating our essential front-line workers, both for their sake and the sake of the economy,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We are advocating for the distribution of vaccinations to keep supply chain workers healthy and maintain the flow of cargo.”
Although activity typically slows in February as east Asian factories close for up to two weeks to celebrate the Lunar New Year, China largely worked through the holiday to fill back-orders and meet the increasing demands of consumers ordering items online.
The San Pedro Bay ports complex is experiencing a historic cargo surge that started in July 2020. The Port of Long Beach continues to collaborate with stakeholders to facilitate the efficient movement of cargo.