The Port of Long Beach reported Wednesday that it had the most productive August in its 109-year history, marking a strong start to the peak shipping season, although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create long-term economic uncertainty.
The port said dockworkers and terminal operators moved 725,610 container units last month, a 9.3% increase compared to August 2019. Imports jumped 13% to 364,792 units and exports were up 1% to 126,177 units. Empty containers shipped overseas climbed 8.5% to 234,642 units.
“Despite the recent surge in cargo, uncertainty remains in international trade and the national economy, given the ongoing COVID-19 impacts,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “August marked another great month for the port, but we must remain vigilant about the global pandemic’s lasting effects.”
The port said the start of the peak shipping season typically runs from August to October as retailers prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
In August, demand for goods such 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 canceled earlier this year, officials said.
“I commend our dockworkers and business partners for a successful August. They’ve gone above and beyond to keep goods moving,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna said. “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 port moved more than 4.9 million cargo units during the first eight months of 2020, down 1.2% from the same period in 2019.
Complete cargo numbers can be found at polb.com/statistics.
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