The Port of Los Angeles announced Wednesday that cargo volume during the first eight months of 2021 was 30% higher than the same period in 2020.

The port moved 7,273,053 20-foot equivalent units between January and the end of August. Despite the increase, last month the port moved 954,377 20-foot equivalent units, slightly less than the previous August, when the port set the month’s record with 961,833 TEUs moved.

The port expects the rest of the year to be strong, with American consumer demand continuing unabated for the last year.

“Our Port Optimizer data indicates significant volume headed our way throughout this year and into 2022,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Port-related employment is robust, with longshore shifts up 32% compared to last year.”

The port moved 485,672 imported 20-foot equivalent units in August, a decrease of 6% from the same month the previous year. Exports loaded at the port decreased 23% from the same month the previous year, with only 101,292 TEUs moved. Empty containers increased 17 to 367,413 TEUs, the port said, citing demand in Asia. It was the most empty containers handled at the port in a single month, officials said. The previous record was May 2021, when 361,359 empty TEUs were processed.

“To better manage this record cargo, the Port of Los Angeles is co-hosting roundtable discussions with dozens of public and private stakeholders,” Seroka added. “We’re pursuing short- and longer-term strategies with our partners in order to scale up to meet increased demand.”

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