The Port of Long Beach has reported its busiest February on record amid an unprecedented surge in imports amid the ongoing pandemic-driven cargo boom.
The port reported in recent days that dockworkers and terminal operators moved 771,735 twenty-foot equivalent units last month, a 43.3% increase over the same month last year and marking the largest year-over-year increase for a single month in the port’s 110-year history.
It was also the first time the Port of Long Beach handled more than 700,000 TEUs in the month of February, surpassing the previous record set in February 2018 by 109,945 TEUs.
Imports jumped 50.3% to 373,756 TEUs, while exports declined 4.9% to 119,416 TEUs. Empty containers moved through the Port rose 69.6% to 278,563 TEUs.
“Supply chain workers are giving their all to keep cargo moving, even as their ranks are impacted by the pandemic. New records are being set, which shows how busy they have been,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “We understand that shippers are waiting for their cargo, and we are collaborating with our industry partners to deliver shipments as quickly as possible.”
“Our top priority is to vaccinate our essential frontline workers, both for their sake and for the sake of the economy,” said Port of Long Beach Commission Chairman Frank Colonna. “We are advocating for vaccine distribution to keep supply chain workers healthy and keep cargo flowing.”
Although activity usually turns slow in February, as factories in East Asia close for up to two weeks to celebrate the Lunar New Year, China worked heavily during the vacations to fill backlogged orders and meet growing demand from consumers ordering items online.
The San Pedro Bay port complex is experiencing a historic surge in cargo that began in July 2020. “The Port of Long Beach continues to collaborate with stakeholders to facilitate the efficient movement of cargo,” the port said.