The Port of Los Angeles has become the first port in the Western Hemisphere to process 10m container units in a 12-month period.
The landmark moment occurred when a container was loaded onto the CMA CGM AMERIGO VESPUCCI at Fenix Marine Services Container Terminal.
Port executive director Gene Seroka said: “With our sustained focus on supply chain digitalisation, infrastructure investments and strong business relationships, we have the opportunity to build on this historic milestone.”
When the Port of Los Angeles closes its 2020-2021 Fiscal Year books on June 30, it is expected to have processed more than 10.8m teu.
Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM and APL North America, said that the milestone showed that the American economy is “roaring back to life” as the pandemic subsides.
A pandemic-induced consumer buying surge that began last summer, along with restocking of retailer shelves and e-commerce warehouses across the country have fuelled the dramatic rise in imports.
The Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex in San Pedro Bay has been beset by severe congestion through the first half of 2021 although the number of ships at anchor awaiting berths has dropped to 14.
Over the past 12 months, port terminals have worked an average of 15 container ships each day, up from a pre-pandemic average of 10 ships a day, representing a significant increase in productivity.
Longshore labour shifts are up nearly 20% in 2021 compared to the average weekly shift count over the past four years.
Last year, the port handled 9.2m teu, the fourth highest volume year in its history.