Year-to-Date Growth at 26% at America’s Busiest Port

The Port of Los Angeles processed 903,865 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in September, the busiest September ever in the Port’s 114-year history. Year to date, overall cargo volume stands at 8,176,917 TEUs, an increase of 26% compared to 2020.

“Despite the global supply chain challenges, the Port of Los Angeles and its partners continue to deliver record amounts of cargo,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This is made possible by the extraordinary effort of our longshore workers, truck drivers, terminal operators and so many others on the waterfront and in our region’s warehouses. I’m grateful to all of them.

“Of particular note is the great work by BNSF and Union Pacific, which have reduced the rail backlog in half in the last month and by two-thirds over the last two months,” Seroka added. “We’ve got more work to do but we’ve made significant progress due to the collaborative efforts with our Class 1 railroads.”

September 2021 loaded imports reached 468,059 TEUs, about the same amount compared to the previous year. Loaded exports dropped 42% to 75,714 TEUs compared to the same period last year. It was the lowest number of exports since 2002.

September 2021 2020 Change % Change
Loaded Imports 468,059.15 471,794.50 (3,735.35) -0.79%
Loaded Exports 75,713.50 130,396.75 (54,683.25) -41.94%
Total Loaded 543,772.65 602,191.25 (58,418.60) -9.70%
Total Empty 360,091.95 281,433.55 78,658.40 27.95%
Total 903,864.60 883,624.80 20,239.80 2.29%
Calendar Year 2021
8,176,917.15 6,463,735.20 1,713,181.95 26.50%
Fiscal Year 2020/2021 2,749,041.75 2,701,846.70 47,195.05 1.75%


Empty containers climbed to 360,092 TEUs, a jump of 28% compared to last year due to the continued demand in Asia. In total, September’s 903,865 TEUs was 2.3% above last September’s previous record of 883,625 TEUs.

North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $259 billion in trade during 2020. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. The Port of Los Angeles has remained open with all terminals operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.