In his ‘State of the Port’ address, Mario Cordero, executive director, Port of Long Beach paid tribute to the men and women keeping the Port operational during the pandemic and demonstrating that the Port is “not deterred by the pandemic.”
Cordero asked for a moment of silence to honor longshore workers who had lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. He praised the work of longshore workers, truckers, port staff and maritime stakeholders.
Earlier in the week, James McKenna, president of the Pacific Maritime Association reported that 13 longshore workers based at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles had died. He said there had been 855 workers who had tested positive for the virus and that half the cases had occurred since January 1st.
In spite of the COVID virus Cordero noted that the Port had a record year.
The Port of Long Beach moved more than 8.1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) in 2020, setting a record.
The Port ended 2020, its busiest year on record, with 8,113,315 TEUs moved, an increase of 6.3% from 2019. Imports rose 6.4% to 3,998,340 TEUs. Exports totaled 1,475,888 TEUs, up 0.2%, while empty containers increased 9.9% to 2,639,088 TEUs. The Port exceeded the previous annual record set in 2018 by 22,292 TEUs.
Cordero thanked the Port workforce for this achievement: “I want to thank our frontline workers on the docks who kept cargo moving during this unprecedented moment in history, ensuring the safe, secure and timely delivery of vital medical equipment and consumer goods,”
He added: “We have all endured incredible hardships with COVID-19, but I am looking forward to 2021 as a time of economic recovery and a renewed focus on our industry partners, infrastructure projects and community stakeholders.”
Harbor Commissioner Bobby Olvera Jr., international vice president (Mainland) of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), also praised “our workforce for answering the call despite the many challenges along the way.”
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