September marked the busiest month ever at the Port of Long Beach, capping off the most active quarter in the US West Coast hub’s 109-year history, bolstered by a double-digit rise in imports.
The port handled 795,580 teu in September, representing an increase of 13%, while 2.27m teu was handled over the third quarter of the year, as volumes surged by 14%.
Imports grew 14% last month to 405,618 teu compared to September 2019, while exports decreased 9% to 112,556 teu. Empty containers headed back overseas jumped 21% to 277,406 teu.
Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, said: “Large retail stores are reopening, merchants are stocking up for the winter holidays and the increased use of e-commerce appears to be an enduring trend picked up by consumers during the recent stay-at-home orders.
“Still, we must move ahead with caution during the remaining months of 2020 because the national economy continues to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Demand continued to increase for furniture, paint and office equipment as consumers make home improvements and work from home during the pandemic.
As many as 92 containerships called at the port in September, 19 of which were unscheduled vessel calls that made up for voyages cancelled earlier this year.
Additionally, dockworkers transferred a record number of cargo containers at the TTI terminal on Pier T, marking the most ship-to shore cargo moves logged at the Port of Long Beach in a single month.
The port has handled 5,707,305 teu during the first three quarters of the year, representing a 0.5% increase from the same period in 2019.