Port of Lengthy Seashore pads document e-book
The Port of Long Beach’s busiest year is on the books with more than 8.1 million container units in 2020.
Two more records were set: December was the busiest month ever with 815,885 units (TEUs) and the fourth quarter was the busiest quarter in the port’s 110-year history with 2,406,010 TEUs handled.
The port said it handled a total of 8,113,315 TEU in 2020, 6.3% more than in 2019 and the 2018 record, despite “economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing trade war with China” 22,292 TEU.
Compared to the previous year, imports rose by 6.6% to 3,998,340 TEU, while exports rose by only 0.2% to 1,475,888 TEU. The biggest jump was the number of containers that were unloaded and then returned empty to Asia – an increase of 9.9% over the previous year to 2,639,088 TEU. In other words, the Port of Long Beach handled more than 1.16 million more empty containers than loaded exports in 2020.
Mario Cordero, Executive Director of Port of Long Beach, made a statement Friday thanking the “frontline workers at the docks” who had kept the cargo moving at this unprecedented moment in history to make it safe and ensure timely delivery of vital medical equipment and consumer products. We have all experienced incredible difficulties with COVID-19, but I look forward to 2021 as a time of economic recovery and renewed focus on our industrial partners, infrastructure projects and community stakeholders. “
An enormous influx of imports in autumn brought the port to its record-breaking 8.1 million TEU. The spread of the coronavirus made for a miserable spring. The Port of Long Beach’s volume in April was down 17.3% year over year.
After the first half of 2020, the volume decreased by 6.9% compared to the previous year. A total of 104 trips were canceled in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in the first half of the year, a huge increase from 41 hidden calls over the same period in 2019.
“It was a different story for the second half of 2020 when preliminary estimates showed the port had 104 unscheduled container ships making up for voyages canceled earlier in the year, more than quadrupling the unscheduled voyages reported in the same period in 2019.” Said the port.
The 815,855 TEU moved in December was an increase of 22.6% compared to the same month in 2019. The total exceeded the record set in October by 9,282 TEU. In December alone, the number of empties rose by 26.3% to 263,852 TEU compared to the previous year.
Between October 1 and December 31, the port processed 2,406,010 TEU, an increase of 23% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. This exceeded the record third quarter by 131,740 TEU.
2020 was also the best November in Port of Long Beach ever. The 783,523 TEUs were around 30.6% compared to November 2019. Here, too, the number of empties handled remained hanging. The number of empty containers sent back to Asia for refilling in November rose to 283,563 TEU, an increase of 55% over the previous year.
Freight activity did not decline at the end of the calendar year. The ports on the west coast continued to be unusually busy in January. On Wednesday lunchtime, 32 container ships were anchored in San Pedro Bay, waiting to dock either in Long Beach port or in LA.
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Click here to read more American Shipper / FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.