The Port of Los Angeles processed 957,599 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month, a 113% jump compared to March 2020, when global trade slowed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 2021 was the busiest March in the Port of Los Angeles’ 114-year history, marking the port’s busiest first quarter ever, as well as the largest monthly year-over-year increase. Year-to-date, overall cargo volumes through the nation’s busiest container port are up 44% compared to 2020.
“As more Americans get vaccinated, businesses reopen and the economy strengthens, consumers continue to purchase goods at a breakneck pace,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I applaud our port workforce, truck drivers, terminal operators and supply chain partners who are working around the clock to process the additional cargo.”
“Collectively, we have been able to significantly reduce the number of container ships waiting on shore,” Seroka added. “I am also proud of the steady progress being made to vaccinate dock workers at the Port’s location and elsewhere.”
March 2021 loaded imports reached 490,115 TEUs, up 123% year-on-year, while loaded exports rose 1.5% to 122,899 TEUs.
Empty containers increased by 219% compared to March 2020, reaching 344,585 TEUs, reflecting the strong demand for empty containers for Asian shipping.
A total of 95 cargo vessels arrived in March, including four additional shippers.
The Port of Los Angeles’ neighbor in the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, the Port of Long Beach, also reported similar record numbers last month despite being a historically slow month in the calendar year.