The Port of Long Beach has made a strong start to 2021 and expects to see a busier February than usual thanks to increasing e-commerce sales and demands for home office equipment.
The Port, the second busiest in the US, handled 764,006 TEU in January, a 21.9% jump year-on-year (YoY).
The figures marked the first time in history the Port has handled more than 700,000 in January and far surpassed its previous January record of 106,176 TEU in 2018.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent work from home measures meant an increase in online purchases of home improvement items and office equipment as consumers.
Imports grew 17.5% to 364,255 TEUs, while exports climbed 7% to 116,254 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas increased 34.6% to 270,221 TEUs.
Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, said, “After the volatility with cargo volumes in 2020, we hope to see some stability and continued economic recovery over the next year as we remain focused on attracting business and building for the future.
“We remain focused on the health and safety of our dockworkers as they continue to unload a record-breaking amount of cargo from a surge of container vessels calling at the Port.”
The Port also said forecasts show that volumes will likely hold in February and not dip as they usually do after Christmas and the Chinese Lunar New Year. It believes carriers will make unscheduled vessel calls to compensate for cancelled voyages at the start of the pandemic.
Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna, said, “Trade moving through the Port of Long Beach will be a vital key to the economic recovery we hope to see this year. “We’re staying the course by focusing on attracting business, growing our market share and continuing to build for the future.”