The Port of Long Beach reported its best November on record, which officials Wednesday said was supported by the holiday retail rush and a surge in coronavirus personal protective equipment deliveries.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 783,523 cargo units in November, a 30.6% jump compared to November 2019, port officials stated.

Imports were up 30.5% to 382,677 units and exports were down 5.2% to 117,283 units. Empty containers shipped overseas rose 55% to 283,563 units.

“Online shopping and PPE purchases are on the rise as consumers continue the stay-at-home lifestyle, but the overall economic outlook is uncertain with another wave of COVID-19 spreading across the country,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “We’re dealing with the surge in containers by partnering with stakeholders, utilizing a temporary storage yard and prioritizing dual transaction truck trips that balance inbound and outbound cargo flows.”

The boost comes at the end of the peak shipping season.

“We appreciate the strong effort of our dockworkers who are moving an incredible amount of cargo during the second half of 2020 after a slow start for the year,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna said. “We remain cautiously optimistic and intend to maintain the high level of service that the Port of Long Beach is known for.”

The port reported there were 87 container ship calls (dockings) in November, 17 of which were unscheduled vessels that made up for voyages canceled earlier this year.

The port moved 7,297,430 TEUs during the first 11 months of the year, 4.7% up from the same period in 2019.

Complete cargo numbers are available at polb.com/statistics.

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