The Port of Long Beach continued its unprecedented streak of single-month records in May by moving more than 900,000 cargo containers for the first time in its 110-year history.
Dockworkers and terminal operators processed 907,216 twenty-foot equivalent units in May and broke the previous “best month” record set in March 2021 by 66,829 TEUs. Trade was up 44.4% from May 2020.
Imports jumped 42.3% to 444,736 TEUs and exports saw a relatively flat increase of 0.6% to 135,345 TEUs. Empty containers moved through the Port increased 80.7% to 327,135 TEUs. The Port has moved 4,029,532 TEUs during the first five months of 2021, a 42.3% increase from the same period in 2020.
“We are seeing a demand for more goods as the country continues to open up and people return to work,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “Even as we continue to set records during this unprecedented moment in our industry, this is still a fragile moment for the economy and we remain optimistic about our country’s continued recovery.”
“We are grateful to our waterfront workers and our industry partners for helping us achieve another significant milestone,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “The health and safety of our workforce remains a top priority as we continue to see extraordinary cargo volumes at this vital gateway for trade.”
May was the 11th consecutive month that the Port of Long Beach has broken cargo movement records for a particular month amid a historic cargo surge that started in July 2020.
E-commerce sales were higher in May compared to levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers continued to spend more money on goods rather than services such as restaurants, bars, sporting events and concerts – likely due to lingering capacity restrictions in many areas.
Additionally, demand was up for lumber, appliances, and other durable goods due to a rise in housing sales and remodels.