Cargo activity at the Port of Los Angeles increased 22% in November compared to the same month in 2019 due to an influx of consumer spending and warehouse inventory replenishment, port officials reported Tuesday.

The port processed 889,746 cargo units in November with the holidays right around the corner.

“Since August, monthly cargo volume has averaged almost 930,000 (cargo units),” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “It’s unusual to see this kind of import activity this late in the year, but 2020 has been anything but normal.”

Year-to-date, overall cargo volume is 3% lower compared to 2019, Seroka said. Cargo activity had plummeted nearly 19% in the first five months of 2020 compared to last year. Since then, imports from Asia have been coming at a record pace, while U.S. exports have decreased 23 of the last 25 months at the port.

“With consumers continuing to stay at home and purchase goods rather than services, we expect robust activity on our docks to continue for at least several months,” Seroka said. “To help stakeholders manage the cargo influx, the port has introduced new data tools for asset planning, provided additional land for chassis and containers, and is working with cargo owners large and small to prioritize their shipments.”

The Signal, a digital platform launched in September, provides a three-week look at cargo coming into Los Angeles, which Seroka said helps companies plan their shipments. The information, powered by the Port Optimizer, is updated daily at signal.portoptimizer.com.

The Return Signal, introduced in November, assists the trucking community to know when and where to return empty containers to cargo terminals throughout the San Pedro Bay complex.

The Return Signal data is updated every five minutes and information can be filtered and easily customized. Data can be accessed at portoptimizer.com.

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