Port of Long Beach Releases Cargo Numbers

Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and a trade war with China, the Port of Long Beach finished 2020 strong, handling more than 8.1 million TEUs, its busiest year to date, according to newly released numbers. The seaport saw a 6.3 percent jump in overall cargo from 2019, with imports up 6.4 percent to nearly 4 million TEUs, exports up 0.2 percent to nearly 1.5 million and empty containers that are sent overseas to be restocked with goods up 9.9 percent to 2.6 million TEUs.

The port beat its prior annual record by 22,292 TEUs (set in 2018).

“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,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “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.”

The numbers looked bleak in early 2020 when the port saw canceled sailings and a 6.9 percent drop in cargo compared to early 2019 due to the effects of the pandemic. The port was able to rebound later in the year as consumers adjusted to the new normal and demand grew for medical and home improvement supplies.

“This record demonstrates the effort of our dockworkers and the Port’s determination to collaborate with our partners to overcome the devastating economic challenges presented by COVID-19 and the trade war with China,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We look forward to continuing to work toward economic recovery along with our stakeholders.”

For more, visit polb.com/statistics.

By Pacific Maritime