The Port of Long Beach announced Wednesday that May was the best month in the port’s history, with 907,216 twenty-foot equivalent units moved, beating its previous record set in March 2021 by 66,829 TEUs.
Last month was also the first May that the port moved more than 900,000 TEUs, the port reported, and trade was up more than 44% compared to May 2020. Port officials credit e-commerce sales, which have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers spend money online instead of at restaurants, events or bars.
“We are seeing a demand for more goods as the country continues to open up and people return to work,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “Even as we continue to set records during this unprecedented moment in our industry, this is still a fragile moment for the economy and we remain optimistic about our country’s continued recovery.”
The port’s imports increased 42.3%, with 444,736 TEUs moved, and exports remained steady, with just an increase of 0.6%, bringing exports to 135,345 TEUs. The port also saw 327,135 empty container TEUs move through the port, an increase of 80.7% from the previous May.
So far in 2021, the port has moved 4,029,532 TEUs, which is a 42.3% increase from the same period of 2020. Last month was the 11th consecutive month that the port broke a particular month’s cargo movement records.
“We are grateful to our waterfront workers and our industry partners for helping us achieve another significant milestone,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “The health and safety of our workforce remains a top priority as we continue to see extraordinary cargo volumes at this vital gateway for trade.”
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