Port of Long Beach Reports July as Busiest Month Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

Ships dock at the Port of Long Beach’s Pier A at sunset.

The Port of Long Beach today reported that July marked its busiest month in its 109-year history, as terminal operators and dockworkers moved 753,081 cargo container units, topping a record set two years ago.

Trade increased 21.1% in July compared to the same month in 2019. The previous single-month record of 752,188 cargo units, set in June 2018, was surpassed by nearly 900 units.

“Supply chain workers at the Port of Long Beach expertly handled a welcome surge in cargo that was brought on due to pent-up demand by consumers,” said Mario Cordero, the executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “It was a good month, a bright spot in the midst of the devastating effects of the coronavirus on the economy.”

Cargo volumes were bolstered in July by a surge in online spending as consumers continued to avoid leaving home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the port reported it saw a short-term increase in extra vessel visits to compensate for voyages that were canceled earlier this year.

Imports climbed 20.3% to 376,807 cargo units compared to July last year, while exports grew 24.1% to 138,602. Empty containers headed back overseas increased 20.8% to 237,672.

The Port of Long Beach reported it has moved 4,186,115 units during the first seven months of 2020, 2.8% down from the same period in 2019.

“July’s performance reflects our excellent customer service and mission to move cargo efficiently, even during an unprecedented pandemic and the ongoing trade war with China,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna said. “We will continue to work with our partners to ensure the secure and speedy shipment of goods.”

Monthly cargo numbers can be found here.

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